There was a certain thrill to be had from that first Oasis album, Definitely Maybe. Liam’s yob howl and Noel’s magnificent pillaging of T. Rex, the New Seekers, the Pistols, Zep and, of course, the Beatles. By the time the second one came along, you could count me out, what with the asinine, boring, big-bollocked ballads and Noel trying to get terribly meaningful — all reaching a crescendo of stupidity on the dismal Manc whine of bloody ‘Wonderwall’. Their later stuff was snidely put down as ‘Quoasis’ by their rival Damon Albarn — but chance would be a fine thing. At least Quo had a bit of a laugh. So, fast forward20 years.
The fractious brothers are, as ever, estranged. Liam has an album out and it has done very well indeed, number one here and breaking into the US charts. It’s been well received by the critics, too, although I can’t really work out why. I like the crunching power chords and squawking lead guitar on ‘Wall of Glass’, and Gallagher is in good voice on the half-decent chorus. There’s another agreeably sludgy rocker in ‘Greedy Soul’. But, oh dear Jesus, when the strings come in on those awful lachrymose ballads like ‘For What it’s Worth’ (not the Stills masterpiece but a glutinous retread of ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, which I hated first time around). ‘Bold’ is no better. The admired ‘Chinatown’ (not the Move’s classic) meanders around but never really grabs hold. I think it’s Liam’s stab at social commentary — ‘the cops are taking over/ while everyone’s in yoga’. Right-ho. All overproduced, lacking memorable tunes. And lacking fun.