Noel Gallagher takes some time out from feuding with shirty brother, Liam to put together a brand new full-length album with his High-Flying Bird cohorts. We kick things off with the decidedly 'D'You Know What I Mean'-y percussive scree, backed with distant shouting, thundering bass and growing shadowy reverbs on 'Fort Knox', obviously setting up a grand and extended entrance piece. From there we move into the stabbing horns and distorted bass of 'Holy Mountain', perfectly displaying his keen ear for melody, and almost irritating ability for penning a ruthless earworm. From there we move into the sleazy rock and roll of 'Keep On Reaching', owing as much to classic rock as it does disco with the harmonising backing vox and effervescent synth-brass.
'She Taught Me How To Fly' presents a truly diverse set of influences, from dreamy synths to the airy ducked bass and dusty snappy percussives, providing a perfect balance between Noel's brilliantly robust compositional techniques and the more avant construction of mesmeric Krautrock or psychedelia. 'Black & White Sunshine' couldn't possibly be any more geared towards Oasis' fans, with that legendary vocal harmony NG does so well making an appearance, as well as the three-chord progressive lift we've heard once or twice before.
What is most impressive is that the High Flying Birds have managed to step away from the considerable shadow that Oasis cast, whilst still retaining the melodic elements that made it resonate with so many people.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: A twisting, nuanced journey through rock, psychedelia and indie, but nicely tether by Noel's instantly recognisable vocal style, and a veritable cornucopia of sing-along moments. Lovely stuff.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP Info: Includes download code for the album and bonus track ‘dead in the water (live at RTÉ 2FM studios, Dublin)’.