I want to start this frankly: I hated Oasis. Surely everyone did; a half-hearted rock band who held the media by the balls with pointless infighting, and ultimately, barring one or two tracks, a band that simply wasn’t very good. That said, their material consistently appearing in national charts, treading water in a sea of synth-driven hip-hop and imported rap, can surely be attributed to a formidable fan base. If you are not in their company, you might be disappointed to hear that Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ new work is far from completely terrible.
No, the latest single from High Flying Birds’ - what an awful band name - is thankfully rather listenable. Making very heavy use of imitation strings and a chord pattern that presumably slept in the same bed as Mr Gallagher, Everybody’s on the Run seems to show glimpses of a genuine attempt to move onto larger soundscapes and different arrangements. It’s a shame, then, that it comes across like an Oasis B-side; for all the orchestral sounds it tries to incorporate, it’s as bland, tacky and emotionless as a wedding ring made of telephone wire.
Noel’s voice remains exactly the same as it was back in Oasis’ heyday; that is, nasally and loud for the sake of it. It might have been intriguing to see how he recovered from the messy spat with his brother, and while his music isn’t as cut-copy as the roadkill Beady Eye comes out with, it remains firmly rooted in the earth of his original band. The lyrics are peculiar, since they seem to consist of words mashed together in order to rhyme; at times it descends almost into doggerel: “Can’t fight the feeling, always the same, pouring rain” - what does it mean? It’s anyone’s guess, really.
High Flying Birds should really be an opportunity for Noel to try something afresh, but it seems that as long as he is signed to a record label, he will continue to churn out songs aligned towards appealing to as many people as possible, rather than experimenting with new genres, sounds or even recording styles. Perhaps a stint of true independence will bring the best out of him, but until then he will remain tethered to the uninspired path he himself helped blaze.