What’s left of Oasis doesn’t pull it off like they used to

The new album by former Oasis members may be an attempt to revive rock-and-roll classics and break out of the group’s traditional assortment, but it comes painfully short of initial expectations. On this side of the pond, Oasis may be best known for their mid-’90s Britpop hits “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova,” but in Europe they have established a reputation as one of the most successful bands of the last two decades. That is, until the group disbanded two years ago.

The lead brothers, Noel and Liam Gallagher, whose tense relationship contributed to the band’s fame and success, said their final farewell in Aug. 2009. Whereas Noel chose to follow a solo career, his younger brother stuck together with the remaining members of Oasis to form a new band under a rather unusual name Beady Eye.

Less than two years in the making and released on Feb. 28, “Different Gear, Still Speeding” is the band’s first studio album. With the upbeat single “Bring the Light” already on the air since last Nov., the anticipation was high in the air. But, like a leaking balloon, it quickly fell to the ground.

Despite promises that the group would be heading in an entirely new direction, the album resembles all-too-closely Oasis’ final (and not the finest) release “Dig Out Your Soul” from 2008. With Liam Gallagher’s open fascination with the Beatles and John Lennon in particular, it also sounds like an attempt at re-hashing some random rock-and-roll tunes from the ’60s. The idea has gotten a bit boring.

Indeed, the whole album gets duller and more tiresome with every song. The lyrics are repetitive, the tunes are, well, we’ve simply heard it all before, and not just by Oasis. For instance, “The Roller” sounds just like “All You Need Is Love.” “Millionaire” brings back painful memories of Oasis’ final album and the band’s eventual demise. And one might just wonder how the song “For Anyone” made it into the final cut. It’s good for a camping trip, but not an album by an established rock band.

Sad truth is, Noel was the main songwriter for Oasis. With him gone, Liam fills the spot, but arguably, the younger brother is a much better singer than penman. Beady Eye may have tried to switch gears a bit, but whether they are still speeding, remains a whole different question.