Alright, another Monday, another Blog-Off post from me. To bring everyone up to speed, Friend-Of-The-Blog, j.Bowman (of the esteemed weblog “j.Bowman Can’t Sleep“) and I have been engaged in a bit of a tête-à-tête. Due to his long-unchallenged hubris as The World’s Greatest Blogger, I’ve stepped up and entered into the Blog-Off/Blog Feud/Blog World Series of Blogging 2011.
It’s a Best of Five series, with each of us given a challenge each week.
Week 1, we had to each write a “How-To” article. I wrote about “How To Start A Revolution“, while j.Bow landed a heavy blow with a fantastic guide on “How To Train Your Child To Be The Perfect Moviegoing Companion”
Judge’s Decision: Round 1 victory for j.Bowman.
Judge’s Decision: Round 2 victory for me.
So, there we are. Round 3 and everything is tied up 1-1. Looks like regardless of this week, we are going into extra rounds, leaving us the very difficult task next week of “Opponent’s Choice (Shakespearean Rules)”. But that is getting ahead of myself. Let’s take a look at this week, where each of us were asked to write a review.
As many long-time followers will know, I used to write a lot of music reviews, covering everyone from Franz Ferdinand, Peter Bjorn and John, Dan Auerbach, Manic Street Preachers, Joel Plaskett, Camera Obscura, Daniel Merriweather, and many, many, many more. I don’t want to claim cutting edge status, but I had my finger on the pulse for a while at least. So, obviously when I knew that this week was review week, I got a little excited, but it became a bit more daunting when I figured out what I had to review.
Beady Eye Zombie Oasis
I’ve been away from the review game for a while now and there have been some surprising comeback attempts that garner attention. Who would have guessed that 2011 alone would have produced new studio albums from Duran Duran, R.E.M., Jennifer Lopez, Beastie Boys, Stevie Nicks, The Cars, Moby, Def Leppard, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ricky Martin, or even Weird Al Yankovich?
No, to take the cake for truly shocking is the existence of Beady Eye (from here on out to be referred to as Zombie Oasis).
Beady Eye Zombie Oasis is basically the musical equivalent of what would have happened if the Cosby Show decided it didn’t need Bill Cosby and kicked him out due to his ill temperament on transatlantic flights and his addiction to Jello pudding.
Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, Oasis (the living version) was one of the biggest rock bands in the world (they claimed they were bigger than the Beatles, who notably had claimed that they were bigger than Jesus – so I guess the lesson here is that Oasis > Beatles > Jesus). They gave us such megahits as “Live Forever”, “Some Might Say”, “Champagne Supernova”, “Go Let It Out” and “Lyla”. They had 8 number 1s in the UK and weren’t too bad everywhere else either. Oh, and there was that other song, what was it called, you know, “Wonderwall”. The song that sold about a million acoustic guitars.
I’m going to take an educated guess and say that you probably just watched that clip. If not, I suggest you do. And then maybe watch it a second time. The song was massive. It was catchy. It was kinda annoying, and yet, likeable in an irritating way. That is basically how we all felt about Oasis.
And here is the secret: how we all felt about Oasis was directly related to how much we disliked Liam and how much we liked Noel.
The Gallagher brothers are Oasis. There have been numerous band members over the years (six non-Gallaghers), but always the constant bickering brothers. But
Beady Eye Zombie Oasis misses this formula. They removed Noel Gallagher AKA the Songwriter (a key component in most people’s understandings of music).
So, we end up with an experience of finally seeing what Liam Gallagher the Singer and the Unnameable Members of Oasis can come up with.
The result: formulaic rock that doesn’t break any barriers and leans heavily on 1990s Britpop sensibilities and 1960s British Invasion legacies. So, essentially, another Oasis album.
But you must be wondering, are there any decent songs? Sure. Definitely. I’d say there are a couple good songs by
Beady Eye Zombie Oasis. There is the eerily familiar “The Roller” (I am scouring my old Oasis albums to see if I can pinpoint exactly which one it was on. I swear it was Definitely Maybe). There is the Beatles-esque “The Beat Goes On“. And then, Liam doing what he does best, rocking out, with “Four Letter Word”:
But, it’s not as if any of these songs are built to last and become classics the way Oasis circa 1995 might have pulled off. They also seem to have that off-brand kind of feel to them.
I hate to say it, but Different Gear, Still Speeding, the debut of
Beady Eye Zombie Oasis is deserving of a 6.5/10 or a C+. It is passable rock music, but nothing that will blow your mind.
Out of curiosity, I decided to find out what Noel Gallagher has been up to without his former band. He has a couple albums on the way, apparently, with a rock album by “Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds” and a collaboration with Amorphous Androgynous, which is expected to be far more experimental than anything we’ve seen from Noel. In the meantime, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds have one single out, and it’s already better than anything on Different Gear. Who would have thunk it that a band would rely so much on the creativity of their songwriter?