Beady Eye – “BE” (2013)

June 11, 2013 at 3:58 pm (Liam Gallagher, Music, Oasis, Reviews & Articles)

An NME review of the second Beady Eye album, dated June 7th…

With Dave Sitek at the controls, Beady Eye are bound for a bold new future. But do they have the ideas to stoke the engine?

The problem with Beady Eye is they were born with a point to prove – but only to their lead singer. The band’s debut album Different Gear, Still Speeding  matched or exceeded most people’s tempered expectations for it, but only Liam Gallagher ever seriously entertained the notion that they would become “bigger  than Oasis”, and only Liam would have been surprised when Noel’s record outstripped their own, critically and commercially. Clearly, when you’ve spent all of your adult life in one of the biggest bands in the world, the indignity of being in Just Another One takes some getting used to.

In interviews, Liam’s defiance in the face of dissenting opinion has been replaced with out-of-character admissions about DGSS’s shortcomings and hints that he might call it a day if he’s “barking up the wrong tree” with its follow-up. The subtext seems to be that he doesn’t need to do this. He could happily retire to a life of designing desert boots and riding dogs around pubs until the inexorable Oasis reunion of 2018. Coming from a man who once claimed to be  possessed by the spirit of John Lennon, however, we have to wonder: since when does he care which tree he’s barking up?

On their second album, Beady Eye have attempted to do what their old band never could: evolve. When it came to producers, Oasis hired craftsmen, not visionaries, because their comfort zone was exactly where their fans liked having them. Beady Eye, not having that luxury, have turned to TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, a sonic maverick who surely numbers among the least likely candidates for the task. Read the rest of this entry »

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Black Sabbath – “13” (2013)

June 11, 2013 at 7:31 am (Black Sabbath, Music, Reviews & Articles)

The Rolling Stone review of Black Sabbath’s first new album with Ozzy since 1978. This review is from the June 20th issue (out now)…

Return of the Iron Men

After 35 years, Ozzy, Geezer and Tony stomp back and rediscover their stark, bluesy roots.

“We decided to write horror music” is how Ozzy Osbourne describes Black Sabbath’s birth in the great new heavy-metal oral history, Louder Than Hell. And that’s exactly what they’re doing, once again, on 13 – a reunion set with three-quarters of the original band – that revisits, and to an extent recaptures, the crushing, awesomely doomy spectacle of their first few records.

Needless to say, this is kind of a big deal. It’s impossible to imagine heavy metal without Sabbath’s groundwork. And Osbourne hasn’t made a studio record with the band he founded for 35 years, not since he was ousted for being an unreliable alcoholic drug casualty after 1978’s Never Say Die! Moreover, this reunion comes at a time when the evil germ of the evil gene of their sound is deeply resonant: See Southern heavyweights Mastodon and Baroness; experimental metal acts like Liturgy and Boris; and hundreds of other bands around the world that owe a debt to the godfathers of gloom.

13 is steered by superproducer/superfan Rick Rubin, and it shows that, for all their innovations, Sabbath were a product of their era – at core, they’re a blues-rooted prog-rock band, and 13 may surprise some people in its proto-­metal traditionalism. The eight-minute opener, “End of the Beginning,” goes through various time shifts, beginning with a sludgy stomp, switching to a galloping midsection and ending with a floaty, almost Beatlesque outro. Read the rest of this entry »

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