Author: Mark Fraser
With their latest E.P. For Your Own Good, receiving plenty of deserved airplay, Melbourne’s rockabilly tinged scourgers Living End began to come into their own. Constant touring has brought them up to Sydney on the odd occasion, and they’re heading our way again this week with a brand new E.P. in tow.
Literally recorded last week and out the next, Second Solution / Prisoner Of Society sounds as fresh and as urgent as can be, and in short, it’s one killer E.P. Second Solution is as catchy as f–k and just bounces on down the highway, while Prisoner Of Society is typical Living End with its rockabilly dirge and anthemic stance. Snarling down its nose at mainstream society, it sings the agonies and isolation of teen suppression. The real coup de Grace, however, is the awesome version of Prisoner TV Theme. Beautifully scourged, we start out all soft and rosey, and then burst into that ratatat, chunk rockabilly drive. Magic. Throw in a couple of live tracks in the rabid, raw Misspent Youth and the party-punched Strange and you have the makings of something really special.
Literally having just hopped out of the van in Mount Gambier, the first leg of their present tour, vocalist and guitarist Chris Cheney explains that given the theme of the E.P. then the inclusion of the Prisoner theme was an obvious choice. “We thought that seeing as the songs were about prisons and that, that we’d make it almost a kind of concept E.P. But yeah, that’s a classic song, we all love it. It’s great.”
Recording Second Solution seemed an obvious move to, despite it being a rather old live number. “It’s a bit of an old one that one. We just sort of played it live, and never really got around to recording it. Everyone sort of asked for it, and it’s a pretty strong song, so we thought we’d do that one. We did it on Recovery a few weeks ago, and it went over really well.”
Touring pretty much constantly since the release of last year’s For Your Own Good E.P., the trio decided to have a month off prior to this tour and get down to some writing, and put some new demos down. Back on the road all fresh and revived, this present tour takes in Adelaide, then back home to Melbourne for a few days before hitting Coffs Harbour, Brisbane and The Gold Coast and Sydney. With no less than 22 gigs in 30 days or so, it’s obviously going to take its toll on the band’s health.
“Yeah, we’re not really worried about it,” says Chris. “It’s just a matter of the voices and all the equipment holding up. But, ah, it should be a good workout.”
September will see the band back in the studio to work on their forthcoming album, a collection of newies, which should be out early next year. In the meantime, Second Solution / Prisoner Of Society is out next week on TWA records.
The Living End hit town this week, playing Macquarie University Thursday September 4, Brookvale Hotel Friday September 5, and Manning Bar Saturday September 6, with an all ages show that afternoon. Bodyjar and Nervous Wreckage will be keeping the guys company on all dates.