5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Modern Artillery (Audio CD)
The Living End truly are a band represent what is still great about Australian punk music. They incorporate a double bass (standing up – large bass instrument) player and influences from 50’s rockabilly to modern pop punk not to mention lounge and jazz. The cheeky opener; ‘What Would You Do’ is a catchy little punk song with hooks, pace and even some surf rock lead. All condensed into just over a minute. This is surely the ‘Mini-me’ of punk rock songs.
As fun as this band are, their beliefs and sensibilities are still firmly rooted in the activism and social commentary of the old UK punk scene. Songs like; ‘Tabloid Magazine’ with lines such as; ‘Picture hungry journalists, searching for some action’ & ‘If you want to read a little useless information, if you’ve had enough with all the troubles in our nation’. Strip away at the Tabloid and gossip systems of journalism – baring them in their true light.
‘Who’s Gonna Save Us’ is a little lacking in hooks to really latch onto your memory, despite repeated listens. This is the band at their slightly less catchy and even a little unimaginative. This is certainly not the case with the dark and intriguing; ‘End Of The World’ a mix of Billy Talent-esque riffs and lounge-core vocals. The bass is very prominent in this piece and demonstrates the warmth a double bass can offer today’s modern music. If you could imagine The Living End bounding down a star studded and twinkling staircase on some cheaply made film set. Perhaps even wearing tuxedos and twirling batons then ‘Jimmy’ would be the number they would be performing. While it is rooted in rock it certainly gives off an air of Hollywood glamour and slightly clichéd lounge-core performance music - Especially in the vocal style of the chorus. It’s different but very memorable.
‘One Said To The Other’ is a charming and delightfully bouncy song that encourages the young men of the world to avoid a girl who is; ‘not in touch with the government plan and much to busy looking for a one night stand’. ‘In The End’ is about as far removed from the similarly titled Linkin Park number as possible with it’s chilled out sense of ska urgency that presents the listener with such a fitting mid-album track. However, the verses far outweigh the chorus in listen-ability and catchiness. The band demonstrate a fabulously catchy and inventive side on the bitingly humorous; ‘Short Notice’ with it’s effect laden introduction and clapping studded verses. With lines such as; ‘I said I wanna, I wanna see you, I really meant I wanna, I wanna leave you’ – it will bore it’s way into your head with more flagrant disregard than a sleep deprived brain surgeon. The relaxed acoustic country ballad that is; ‘So What’ segues fairly well into the slightly disappointing; ‘Rising From The Ashes’ almost compromising the strength of the end of the record.
The Living End are yet to make their perfect album, however they are getting so close you can almost feel the tension and the disappointment when songs such as; ‘Who’s Gonna Save Us’ & ‘Rising From The Ashes’ are found wanting when placed alongside the talent filled; ‘Tabloid Magazine or the final and reassuringly epic track ‘The Room’. This is a fantastic album and while in it reside a couple of low moments the high points are still a threat to low and high flying aircraft everywhere. One of the most essential and often original punk records I have heard for some time.
Standout Tracks: ‘Tabloid Magazine’, ‘Jimmy’, ‘Short Notice’ & ‘The Room’.