Andy Bell is probably most notable as performing in one of the biggest bands of a generation; Oasis – or as a shoegaze legend as part of Ride. Bell has now taken all his years of experience performing and writing rock and roll and shoegaze to create his debut solo album; The View from Half Way Down.
The View from Half Way Down is a mixture of psych-pop and shoegaze with some beautifully crafted electronic soundscapes. Elements of Bell’s pervious career works are prevalent throughout – with hints of britpop from Beady Eye, latter years Oasis, Hurricane #1, or his time sound-scaping obscure dreamy guitar tones with Ride all sonically present the album. Bell however still manages to make The View from Half Way Down completely unique at the same time.
The album bursts open into ‘Love Comes in Waves’ with its fast paced driving rock’n’roll drum beat and 60’s psychedelic guitar and is a great introduction to what’s in store to come.
Tracks like ‘Skywalker’, ‘Indica’ and “Cherry Cola’ all hold a repetitive groove allowing Bell to create some beautiful vocal and guitar melodies over the top to keep you enticed wrapped immersive soundscape created. The evolving sounds keep you involved and it’s hard to realise songs like ‘Indica’ and ‘Head Haze on Weyland Road’ are both nearly 7 minutes long.
At the halfway point on the album does get a bit more experimental and a lot more psychedelic on the half way mark with the instrumental track 4; ‘Aubrey Drylands Gladwell’ featuring a massive reverse guitar solo throughout kicking. Also finishing off the second side of the album and we have a 7 minute instrumental synth-scape ‘Head Haze on Weyland Road’.
The View from Half Way Down is more of an old school album – album being a complete piece of complete work from start to finish – it was really refreshing sitting down and enjoying a whole album for what it was rather than just a collection of singles compiled together. All the tracks really compliment each other on the album really well with a few really good stand out tracks in ‘Love Comes in Waves’, ‘Cherry Cola’ and ‘Skywalker’. The View from Half Way Down showcases Andy Bell as an artist really well, incorporating influences spanning his whole career to date and is a solid solo effort from the veteran.