The Living End
Author: Ron Harris
“The Living End” The Living End
This is a very strong self-titled debut album from The Living End, a power-punk trio from Melbourne, Australia. The lads gained a following after supporting Green Day on the Australian leg of a 1996 tour and haven’t looked back since.
The hard-hitting band forges bravely ahead through the punk renaissance, laying down track after track with verve and authority behind the vocals of Chris Cheney. “Prisoner of Society” and “Bloody Mary” are two of the strongest, but all 14 tracks are memorable.
Cheney’s full-speed and twangy guitar work is exceptional as The Living End sings about the ills of society, not with the quite the edge of The Clash or The Sex Pistols, but punky and infectious just the same.
It would be easy to write them off as Green Day Jr., three guys with a similar look and sound, but don’t let this album slide by. The Living End is a solid group on its own and should quickly find a receptive U.S. audience.
Living End To Record Duran Duran Cover
The Living End will wrap up its tour with the Offspring and D Generation tonight in Chicago, but it won’t get any immediate time off. The group already has a session booked with Fishbone and Sugar Ray producer David Kahne.
The Aussie punks will head to L.A. this weekend to cut a cover of Duran Duran’s “Girls on Film” for another tribute album to the group, according to a spokesperson for the Living End’s label, Reprise Records.
The band will rehearse its version of the song tomorrow, record and mix the track on Friday and Saturday, and cap off the weekend with a show at the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood. The as-yet-untitled Duran Duran tribute disc is currently scheduled for release in Australia, but not in the U.S., so fans may have to eventually resort to scouring through the import bins to find the record.
In related news, the Living End is one of the confirmed acts for this summer’s Warped Tour, scheduled to kick off on June 25 at San Antonio’s Retama Park.
Offspring Too Laid-back For Teen Rebels
Author: Anna Giuliani
On Friday, D Generation opened a triple-bill show featuring Living End and the Offspring and after a few tunes, shouted to the audience, “This one’s for everyone who doesn’t wanna go to school on Monday!”
The wild response from the young crowd summed up the entire concert. All three bands cater to the teenage desire for a small measure of anarchy. Parents dropped off their 15-year-old boys and girls at the doors of Austin Music Hall so they could act the part of rebellious teens, if only for the evening. The allure of groups like the Offspring. Living End and D Generation is that they’re safe enough to win parents’ approval and deflant enough to appeal to kids. And there is a place for these bands within the musical spectrum. They play watered-down punk that’s not for adults, critics, musical cynics or for people who really value music for its inventiveness. It’s for teen-agers… and teen-agers like it. They don’t know moshing isn’t hip anymore; it’s their chance to release weeks’ worth of pent-up energy.
D Generation opened the show with strength; their hybrid of metal and new-school punk poured through the loudspeakers to appreciative onlookers slamming against each other with wild abandon. The short segment from the least “corporate” of the bands on the bill was the most inspired. D Generation used neither tricky nor clever stage antics, but had loads of energy and understood the importance of band-to-crowd interaction.
The most serious misstep of the evening was Living End’s performance. The Green Day wannabes were shockingly mediocre, but having an upright bass player in a punk band is apparently enough of an oddity to make them MTV darlings. The boys’ set was easy to ignore, except for a troubling version of “Tainted Love,” which was memorable only because it was so awful. Many concertgoers took this opportunity to make their way to the restrooms or to get another soda. Perhaps the Offspring chose to feature these tuneless fellows before their set in order to make themselves look better in comparison. The tactic worked.
The Offspring’s set was tight, though the band’s stage presence left something to be desired (despite plenty of encouragement from the enthusiastic throng of kids). A $20-plus ticket should have bought the audience more running around, jumping up and down and general craziness. Ninety percent of the crowd knew all the words to the Offspring’s radio hits “No Self Esteem”, “Keep “Em Separated” (from their multiplatinum “Ixnay on the Hombre”), “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” and “Why Don’t You Get a Job” (both from their newest album, “Americana”). The Offspring, though not the most original of bands, can write a good hook. Once you hear an Offspring song – like it or not – the sing along chorus rattles around in your brain for the rest of the day.
During one of the more amusing moments during the Offspring’s set, music from pretty-boy popsters Backstreet Boys blasted over the speakers and five dummies were placed on stage. Suddenly the Offspring burst from the back and proceeded to beat the daylights out of the dummies – to the cheers of sweaty youth. Ah, rebellion.
The Living End
Author: Scott Bacon
THE LIVING END
“The Living End,” Reprise Records.
As someone whose punk-rock education came via the British invasion, my heart gave a slow, cool embrace to the early ’90s ruckus caused by Green Day and its ilk. Maybe my real hangup was that the band was missing the Brit-rock vocals I sorely wanted.
The Living End, a trio from Melbourne, Australia, isn’t the second coming of the Pistols, either, but their mix of pop-coated punk with a surf-rock edge rocks harder than their California brethren, has the requisite attitude and Anglo vocals to boot.
Singer-songwriter Chris Cheney’s vocals are amazingly similar to those of Dave Faulkner of 1980s Aussie rockers the Hoodoo Gurus. Cheney writes a compelling song, whether it’s about a true-life massacre of schoolchildren (Monday) or a fictional account of a man on Death Row (Second Solution). These high-energy tunes disguise otherwise somber themes, though the driving Trapped is a light-hearted number about politicians pursued by tomato-wielding constituents
This young band shuffles between ska punk, the surf punk of Rev. Horton Heat and the pre-swing guitar indulgences of Brian Setzer. Listen to Have They Forgotten, and it’s not surprising to know this band started off as a rockabilly outfit. The energy and versatility on this disc shows why it has gone double platinum in the band’s homeland.
The Living End
Author: Francisco Ferrero
THE LIVING END
THE LIVING END
If you think that punk’s best first single released to radio, the days are long gone, then The Living End is out to prove you wrong with its self-titled debut CD.
The Living End members seem to have almost every aspect of punk covered and somehow wrapped up in a very radio-friendly package. They manage to write catchy pop-punk songs in the vein of Bad Religion and Green Day, while incorporating ska, Oi! and rockabilly influences from bands such as the Skoildats, Inspector 7 and the Amazing Crowns.
What makes The Living End stand out from most punk bands is the great song writing. The members have managed to write an album full of catchy songs without sacrificing their punk edge or becoming excessively pop-y.
On “Prisoner of Society,” the first single released to radio, the band utilizes a double bass that lends the song a rockabilly twang, as well as incorporating a chorus that’s strong enough for any Oi! song.
This formula is evident on almost every song on the CD, but there’s enough variation between songs to make each unique.
For example, “Strange” is slowed down a bit to an almost jazzlike tempo and features a barrage of crunchy guitars, whereas “Trapped” is a perfect impression of Green Day playing ska-punk.
Overall, this is a strong debut that should bring the band both critical and commercial popularity. The Living End members have proved themselves prolific songwriters who should have plenty of hits to come.
This is easily one of the better punk releases in the past few years.
FRANCISCO FERRERO WINTER PARK HIGH