“The performance of Liam Gallagher and John Squire was a clash between brash arrogance and impressive guitar skills.”

“The performance of Liam Gallagher and John Squire was a clash between brash arrogance and impressive guitar skills.”


The feeling of nostalgia often plagues music, until a new album comes along and makes it seem more bearable. The collaboration between John Squire and Liam Gallagher, both known for their involvement in 90s bands, may seem predictable but it’s surprisingly enjoyable. Their joint album, titled with their names, follows a traditional approach that may seem ridiculous.

Gallagher, who has recently experienced success as a solo artist with a string of 2024 commemorative gigs featuring Definitely Maybe, expresses his disdain for boredom on a track titled I’m So Bored. In typical Gallagher fashion, with his confident and superior attitude, he passive-aggressively lists things that annoy him. Meanwhile, Squire, who has been absent for some time, adds energetic guitar riffs to the song, while also incorporating seemingly random mentions of clothing and times of day that Gallagher finds tiresome. The song presents a jaded view of opposing concepts such as bosses and strikes, war and peace, all of which are deemed equally dull. Interestingly, if there were a song on the Gallagher Squire album called Doing What It Says on the Tin, it would fit in seamlessly with the overall theme. (It should be noted that these lyrics, while written to suit Gallagher’s style, are actually penned by Squire.)

However, there is also much to be praised on this album. Notably, it successfully manages to satisfy loyal fans of both bands while also presenting a unique reinterpretation of the trademark sounds of Roses and Oasis. The album consists of duets, with Gallagher providing bold and confident strokes, and Squire paying attention to the finer details by seamlessly weaving in and out of Gallagher’s hazy lyrics. It was produced by renowned LA producer Greg Kurstin (known for his work with Adele, Gorillaz, and Foo Fighters) as well as veteran session musician Joey Waronker on drums, with Kurstin contributing on keys, piano, and mellotron. Together, they create a delightful blend of T Rex-inspired honky-tonk on the track “You’re Not the Only One.”

During this partnership’s peak, Squire saturates Gallagher with opulent psychedelic vibes. On Just Another Rainbow, one of the two previously released tracks, Gallagher maintains his cantankerous demeanor – “I might have known,” he scoffs at “just another rainbow.” But then the rainbow begins to “drip on my tree” – resembling a tribute to Jackson Pollock, similar to the artwork on the Stone Roses’ debut album cover – and Gallagher is left in awe, reciting the names of colors in childlike wonder. Squire takes off on a personal psychedelic journey: the fading at the end is almost cruel. More mind-altering experiences are on the horizon. “I have a candy-colored tangerine-flake streamline baby, sassy grassy green and Jamaica Blue driving me crazy,” sings Gallagher with compelling conviction on One Day at a Time.

One of the new features of Gallagher Squire is the combination of Gallagher’s music with guitar solos. His brother from Oasis, Noel Gallagher, usually plays more basic guitar riffs. In Gallagher Squire, Squire unleashes his inner Jimmy Page, a passion he has had since his days with Stone Roses, but now with even more freedom.

“Another noteworthy aspect of this album is the inclusion of Squire’s rendition of Hendrix, showcased in tracks like “Just Another Rainbow” and the opening of “Love You Forever”, which channels the sound of “Crosstown Traffic”. In this song, both artists embrace the idea of “growing old disgracefully”. It is worth mentioning that the album begins with a line that reads: “If you’re running out of time.” This sets the tone for the lively and energetic “Raise Your Hands”, a song that seems to uplift and acknowledge the aging audiences at big concerts (“Raise your hands, I can see you, we’re alive!”).

Following his involvement in an album with the Seahorses and two solo projects, Squire decided to step away from music and focus on painting. In 2016, he released some new Stone Roses tracks but they were ultimately unsuccessful. However, after sustaining a wrist injury in 2020, Squire became determined to regain his ability to play and returned to his instrument with passion.

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 playing is impressive, his lyrics can come across as cliche. However, there are moments when Gallagher’s singing catches your attention. On “Make It Up As You Go Along,” he humorously retorts, “Thank you for your kind sentiments and well wishes, but also, screw you.”

At times, the pair’s privileged status as rock stars is not as desirable. One Day at a Time includes the line “I know you’re content in your suburban daze, you should have slept with me when you had the opportunity.” The lyrics on I’m a Wheel are more entertaining, with Gallagher singing “this is not real, lock all the doors, these are not the droids you’re searching for” – a classic Star Wars reference combined with a timeless blues swagger. Gallagher proclaims “there’s blood in my dessert,” as Squire’s guitar echoes his astonishment: “I’m not understood.”

Source: theguardian.com