It's the moment of truth, when Oasis fans discover whether Noel really was "the talented one" in the band. Diehards will be pleased to find Gallagher's gruff drawl often backed up by some by now classic Oasis-style guitar solos, all underpinned by a much more obvious interpretation of the Manchester band's rock and roll influences. Yet, even without comparing Beady Eye to their frontman's former pay check, most of these melodies struggle to hold your attention.
It will come as no great surprise to anyone that Gallagher's primary reference point is the 1960s. Indeed, the hero-worshipping 'Beatles and Stones' basically sums up the intent of this entire album. "Well it beats me mama, I just wanna rock and roll/I'm gonna stand the test of time like Beatles and Stones" drones Gallagher over an admittedly toe-tapping rhythm. And while there's no rock and roll musician in the world that can deny the influence of these iconic bands, Gallagher's homage is almost too blatant, lacking any kind of self-awareness or novel approach. The hopping piano and gospel-influenced backing vocals of 'Bring the Light' echoes Jagger and co., while the verse of 'The Roller' seems to mimic 'All You Need is Love' almost exactly. Still, if you have to attempt to emanate your idols, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones aren't a bad way to go, and the more upbeat tunes here boast a certain charm in their hip-shimmying simplicity.
Unfortunately there comes a point about halfway through when the short-lived glimmer of hope that 'Different Gear, Still Speeding' will be just an unspectacular album as opposed to a downright terrible one is snatched sharply away. That point is 'For Anyone', a schmaltzy, repetitive mellow number that plods with little of interest to recommend it. And there's only more of the same to come, with Gallagher unsuccessfully attempting to soften his voice for these unyieldingly dull slow numbers.
In the end, 'Different Gear, Still Speeding' has enough fun moments for those not taking themselves too seriously, but Liam Gallagher would do better to stick with his bad boy persona. Isn't that why people like him, after all?