Put it down to my musical upbringing, to my personal taste or to my whatever, but 2002 has left me floundering like a fish out of water thus far. Dealing with a series of weak examples of genres I was never that fussed on in the first place has been like climbing a sheer rock face with no crampons or ropes; suffice it so say, handholds have been hard to find. So for probably the first time on my travels I find myself quite pleased to see Oasis live up to their name and come to my rescue; I know where I am with the Gallaghers and they always give me something to get my teeth into, albeit usually with a sharp bite rather than a savoury chew.
Ok, so what's on the menu this time? Well 'The Hindu Times' is a song that baits its line with any number of hooks and riffs, none of which land the big fish that would make this a killer. So as far as that goes, it's business as usual and it's ironic to report that Gareth Gates took more risks on his take of 'Unchained Melody' than 'The Hindu Times' takes with the entire Oasis sound - it might trim some of the flab that hung round the middle of their more recent releases in a return to the cocky swagger of 'Rock & Roll Star' and 'Supersonic' ("Cos god gave me soul in your rock and roll babe"), but in truth whereas those previous songs cut with a razor sharpness, the edge has been dulled by time and repetition to a crayon thick, pub rock wooze of cod psychedelia kicked off with a drum roll where even Liam's once 'top of the world' sneer now sounds smeared and strained in delivering the same old dial-a-match lyrics ("There's a light that shines on, shines on me, and it keeps me warm").
One aspect of 'The Hindu Times' I'd always previously enjoyed were the punky John Perry/Tom Verlaine - like guitar fills that I'd always assumed were contributed by Andy Bell in a throwback to his days in Ride, but it was suggested to me literally this morning that they are in fact a direct lift from Stereophonics' 'Same Size Feet'. And blow me down, after a little research I've found out that they are indeed - magpie Noel strikes again, and in striking dulls that edge just a little bit further to cast off the main line that tied 'The Hindu Times' to my affections. So as I say, business as usual. As guitar anthems go in the 2002 chart, then 'The Hindu Times' and its attendant 'attitude' is a big fish in a shallow pond. In the grand scheme of things, it never rises far above the ordinary.