Liam Gallagher “As You Were”
Those in need of an Oasis fix certainly need look no further. Where Noel got high flying, Liam has stayed grounded and put the mantle of Oasis on his shoulders with all the John Lennon influences intact, albeit less retro than his previous work on Beady Eye. This is in fact the best post-Oasis work of either Gallagher. Ad: Great discounts and offers are now available from CouponsMonk.
“Wall of Glass” delivers the upbeat echo and solid beat, Liam’s vocal stands out on each song here. One of the early gems “Greedy Soul” is very catchy and is a great tune to work out to. Other highlights include “Paper Clown”, “For What It’s Worth”, “Universal Gleam,” “Chinatown” and “I’ve All I Need.” Overall there are no filler tunes, with a good balance of rockers and ballads and most every track had my full attention. As Liam states “sometimes we lose our way,” so I’m glad he’s back and free from Noel’s shadow. With so few “mainstream” power pop artists left in the public eye, it is nice to have that brief spotlight. Highly Recommended.
The Brixton Riot “Close Counts”
Veteran New Jersey power-pop band The Brixton Riot deliver “Close Counts,” their sophomore LP release, a bit older, wiser and definitely louder. The band’s influences are a diverse group from The Jam, The Replacements, Elvis Costello and Nirvana. The openers “Can’t Stop Now” and “Slow Evolution” boast driving percussion and steady guitar melodies. The more subtle “Hector Quasar” is a bit like The Lemonheads, and the fuzzy jangle of “The Ballad of Pete Best” is a fun tribute to the ex-Beatle drummer “who should’ve learned to play the guitar.”
The faster, grungier guitars of “Maybe Tomorrow” are contrasted by the optimistic vocals as there is no drop off in the quality of musicianship on the album’s second half. “Little Spark” about the love of music on vinyl and boomboxes, and “Talk About Nothing” are resonant rockers about being “so bored.” But you will not be bored because this is damn good power pop. Overall, the lack of consistent hooks brings this album down a notch, but as the title states, close counts and this music definitely deserves to be heard.