The first album of original compositions that Oasis released after a three-year break, “Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants” was the first record without Guigsy and Bonehead. Only the two Gallagher brothers and drummer Alan White remained onboard, and they were to be soon supplemented by Andy Bell and Gem Archer, two dudes with fantastic hairdos and about as much attitude as a cucumber. You won’t get to hear them on this record, though, as Noel played all guitar and bass parts himself.
The disc is notable for a markedly somber tone, inspired not only by the loss of two original members but also by events such as Noel leaving drugs behind after all those years of use and abuse. “Gas Panic!” in particular was directly inspired by the panic attacks that made Noel resolve to steer clear of substances for good. The song (much like the disc) is a bit of a perplexing listen at first. There is such a strong psychedelic thread running through it all that I must admit I detested it when I first bought it, and after living with it for a month upon its release I had never listened to “SOTSOG” again until now that I felt like reviewing it.
It is quite funny, but now I don’t feel the album is that much of a letdown. Of course, knowing what came afterwards tips the scale in its favor a little – yet, that little is enough to appreciate its good bits. Continue reading