Monday, November 6th, 2017

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Holy Mountain

More like Noel Gallagher’s Low Scoring Birds amirite?


Rebecca A. Gowns: Like a flock of geese, just honking along relentlessly.

Alfred Soto: From the sound of that mix I see he’s back on the Be Here Now-era blow.

Iain Mew: It’s been 23 years since “Cigarettes & Alcohol,” making it as distant from the present day as T. Rex’s “Get It On” was in 1994. The exact resemblance of “Holy Mountain” doesn’t outlast the intro, but the feel of music reheated several times too many sticks around. 

Nortey Dowuona: Solid, chugging guitars and flat, bulbous horns bobble around as the flat drums are buried with indistinct bass and barely there flute and synths. Why is Noel Gallagher a thing?

Claire Biddles: “Holy Mountain” makes a lot more sense if you imagine it being played by Noel etc as a fictional band in a pastiche-y film about the early 60s — a composite band, like Placebo in Velvet Goldmine, recruited half as a knowing wink to their real-life influences, and half because the producers couldn’t afford the rights for the actual bands’ music. Because this maximalist but (crucially) not fun run-through of “Ça Plane Pour Moi” can’t be serious can it? 

Tim de Reuse: There’s something going on in the verses, maybe, where the bassline is doing some catchy chromatic stuff as the rest of the band drones on a single chord, but that never lasts for more than thirty merciful seconds at a time. The chorus’s obnoxiously upbeat flute-driven brass-grinding monolithic I-V-IV-I is gaudy, tasteless, and loud — not loud in the volume sense (it’s overproduced as to completely ruin any sense of punch or dynamic build) but loud in the same way a gold and purple suit is loud — a McMansion made audible.

Scott Mildenhall: His staple diet might be meat and potatoes, but in narrative-aiding contrast to the self-satisfied luddism of his brother, Noel Gallagher at least sometimes finds imaginative ways to eat them. Even so, enjoyable as they are, neither his Doves imitations or psychedelic remixes serve as primers for something so uproariously fun. Like Roy Wood before him, Gallagher has made plagiarism exciting, and yet even more maximal. Whatever has brought on this eruption of joy — the inventiveness of David Holmes may have helped — it sounds like he may finally be no longer so afraid to be weird.

Alex Clifton: I would have never expected this to come from Noel Gallagher, of all people — not necessarily meant as a diss, but this is brassy and dancey and just plain charming. It’s a welcome and remarkably effective move: whereas Liam sounds the same as ever (which is to say, nasal and smarmy), Noel’s got more interesting stuff up his sleeves. It’s nice to lose yourself entirely in a song for four minutes and just want to dance. I’ve not felt that in a while. Point for Noel for bringing me joy on the modern rock charts rather than acting as a harbinger of death and governmental destruction.

Will Adams: It’s hard to care about this beyond imagining how much more I’d enjoy it if The Offspring were performing it, but the ease with which one could sing “She bangs! She bangs!” over the chorus made me chuckle.

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One Response to “Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Holy Mountain”

  1. very happy i’m not the only one who made the ricky martin connection

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