Liam Gallagher John Squire review – chippy hauteur meets six-string pyrotechnics

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The feeling of nostalgia can seem like a burden for music – but occasionally, a large retro record comes along that makes that burden seem not as difficult. With all the surprising results of the recent 90s comeback, this partnership album between ex-Stone Roses guitarist John Squire and former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher (titled with their full names; from now on, I’ll refer to it as Gallagher Squire) appears to be so standard and straightforward that it almost borders on ridiculous.

Gallagher, after a successful solo period highlighted by several 2024 commemorative concerts for Definitely Maybe, expresses frustration with laziness on the track “I’m So Bored”. Using his signature snarky attitude, he passive aggressively lists things that are irking him. Squire, who has been absent for some time, adds airy guitar riffs in between Gallagher’s complaints about mundane things like clothing and time. Neither peace nor war nor work nor leisure seem to make a difference – they’re all equally dull. Pluck! If there were a song on the Gallagher Squire album titled “Doing What It Says on the Tin,” it would fit right in. (Incidentally, all of these lyrics were written by Squire to accommodate Gallagher’s style.)

Despite any setbacks, there are also many positive aspects to this album. It manages to satisfy fans of both The Stone Roses and Oasis while also offering a fresh take on their musical styles. The album is a collection of duets, with Gallagher providing broad and confident strokes while Squire adds intricate details by weaving in and out of Gallagher’s lyrics. It is produced by renowned LA producer Greg Kurstin (known for his work with artists such as Adele, Gorillaz, and Foo Fighters) and features veteran session musician Joey Waronker on drums and Kurstin on keys, piano, and mellotron. One standout track is “You’re Not the Only One,” which channels a T Rex-influenced honky-tonk sound with Kurstin’s audible assistance.

During this collaboration’s peak, Squire infuses Gallagher with extravagant psychedelia. On the previously released track “Just Another Rainbow,” Gallagher maintains a prickly attitude – “I should have known,” he snarls at “just another rainbow.” But then the rainbow begins to “drip on my tree” – reminiscent of a nod to Jackson Pollock’s work, a similar style seen on the cover of the Stone Roses’ first album – and Gallagher is left in awe, listing off the names of colors like a schoolboy. Squire embarks on a personal psychedelic journey, with a harshly fading ending. More psychedelic experiences are yet to come. “I have a candy-colored tangerine-flaked streamlined baby, with sassy grassy green and Jamaica Blue that drives me crazy,” sings Gallagher with convincing passion on “One Day at a Time.”

A unique aspect of Gallagher Squire is the combination of Gallagher’s vocals with elaborate guitar solos. His brother and bandmate from Oasis, Noel Gallagher, typically plays more straightforward guitar parts. However, in this track, Squire unleashes his inner Jimmy Page, a trait that has been evident since his days with Stone Roses but is now even more prominent.

Reworded: A notable aspect of this album is when Squire covers a Hendrix song – examples include “Just Another Rainbow” and the introduction of “Love You Forever” which is reminiscent of “Crosstown Traffic”. In this song, both artists acknowledge the idea of “growing old disgracefully”. Interestingly enough, the album starts with the lines “If you’re running out of time”, which could be a deliberate choice. Another standout track is “Raise Your Hands” with its glam rock vibe, seemingly aimed at reassuring older audiences at concerts that they are not just a faceless crowd (“Raise your hands, I can see you, we’re alive!”).

Following his involvement with the Seahorses and two solo projects, Squire decided to step away from music and focus on painting, following the release of a few unsuccessful new Stone Roses tracks in 2016. However, an injury to his wrist in 2020 motivated him to work towards regaining his guitar skills, reigniting his passion for music.

Six-string pyrotechnics can often become self-indulgent, but Squire is liquid and versatile, pulling out little Paint It, Black-ish near-easternisms (on One Day at a Time) or, most unexpectedly, an electric blues. Even better, Gallagher rises to these occasions, revelling in the minor keys on One Day at a Time. He is more than game for the Manchester, rather than Mississippi, walking blues of I’m a Wheel, worth the price of admission alone.

While Squire’s guitar skills are impressive, his lyrics can come across as cliché. However, there are instances when Gallagher delivers something that catches your attention. For example, on the track “Make It Up As You Go Along,” he cleverly remarks, “Thank you for your well-wishes and also, screw you.”

At times, the pair’s esteemed status as rock stars may not be as desirable. One line from the song One Day at a Time says “I know you’re content in your suburban daze, you should have slept with me when you had the opportunity.” Another line from the song I’m a Wheel is particularly amusing, with Gallagher singing “this isn’t real, lock all the doors, these are not the robots you’re searching for” – a nostalgic nod to Star Wars hidden within a timeless, sassy blues groove. He also declares, “there’s something wrong with my situation,” as Squire’s guitar mimics his surprise, saying “I am not understood.”


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