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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 08:48 GMT 09:48 UK
Oasis return in defiant mood
Oasis: Out to win back their lost territory
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By Michael Hubbard
BBC News Online

The Gallagher brothers have been away from the singles chart for some 18 months and their absence has allowed the likes of Travis and Stereophonics to dominate their territory.

But these bands had better watch out - Oasis are back doing what they do best with The Hindu Times.

But what do they do best? After all, here is a band that shamelessly regurgitates their principal reference points of The Beatles and T-Rex with each passing single. Oasis at their best is not Oasis at their most original.

The Hindu Times comes over as a latter-day Cigarettes & Alcohol, itself a brazen rip-off of T-Rex's Get It On.

The new single gets close to the vitality of Definitely Maybe, if not (What's The Story) Morning Glory, but it fails to explore any new ground, despite the modified band line-up.

Oasis remain one of the few "proper" bands
While their mid-1990s chart rivals Blur experiment with influences and with instrumentation, garnering much respect and plaudits as they go, Oasis once again serve up big guitars, big vocals and big rhythm. And bigger is not always better.

But if there were any doubt that Liam Gallagher is one of the best rock singers currently recording, this record quickly dispels it.

The Hindu Times is a track where a heavy rhythm section and angry guitars already demand the ear's attention.

But Liam's naturally powerful, note-perfect and snarl-ridden vocals still dominate.

And as a statement of intent, the lyrics could not be more forthright. "I get up when I'm down / I can't swim but my soul won't drown / I do believe I got flair / I got speed and I walk on air" is merely the opening salvo.

Whatever you think of Liam as a person - his notorious suggestion that members of Blur should die of AIDS is perhaps the most extreme example of times best forgotten - he lights up Oasis records with energy, swagger and sheer nerve.

Noel Gallagher
Noel Gallagher: "Beatles obsessive"
Brother Noel might well be a Beatles obsessive, but his songs have instant mass appeal.

And he seems now to be more in control of directing the good ship Oasis off the rocks than he has been in some time.

They remain one of the few "proper" bands - acts who write their own songs and play their own instruments.

And they have a good chance of a chart-topping record in these days of Pop Idols, boy bands and conservative pop balladry.

Just for good measure, Oasis produce their own songs too.

But the most welcome aspect of the return of the Gallaghers is that they sound hungry for success again - rather like they did when they first showed up eight years ago.

Unoriginal they may be, but they are back with quite a bang.

Hindu Times is released on Monday 15 April

"Hear a clip from The Hindu Times"
See also:

15 Apr 02 | Reviews
Oasis: Your views
19 Apr 02 | Music
New Oasis song leaked
05 Oct 01 | Music
Oasis: 10 years and rolling
18 Aug 01 | Music
Oasis tickets snapped up
03 Jul 01 | Showbiz
Baby Gene for Liam and Nicole
06 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Noel follows Liam's lead again
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