Roll On

Author: Marc Weingarten

LIVING END, “Roll On” (Reprise)

The members of this Aussie trio may come on like Fosters-swilling roughnecks, but the power of their punk derives from. supple song craft driven by strong-arm horsepower. From the title track, a fanfare for the common man that borrows the Clash’s street-corner populism, to ripped- from-the-tabloids screeds such as “Read About It,” the Living End lives up to its hyperbolic moniker. 5312

Roll On

Author: Marc Weingarten

The Living End
“Roll On”

The members of this Aussie trio may come on like Fosters-swilling roughnecks, but the power of their punk derives from supple song craft driven by strong-arm horsepower. From the title track, a fanfare for the common man that borrows the Clash’s street-corner populism, to rip

Aussie End Means Music

Author: Unknown

All things Aussie are in right now – blokes like Russell Crowe and Crocodile Dundee Paul Hogan, not to mention the success of TV’s Survivor II – so you won’t want to miss it when tickets go on sale today for The Living End. In the mid-’90s post-punk era that gave the world groups like Offspring, Rancid and the Presidents of the United States, Australia discovered “punkabilly” with The Living End. The band brings its attitude to the Starfish Room on May 17 with guests Tsunami Bomb. Tickets $13, on sale today at Ticketmaster.

Musical Notes

Author: Tony Davis, Peter Gotting

Australian rockers The Living End have been touring the US at racetracks. In Los Angeles they were forced to take a break from their set so the horses wouldn’t panic as they galloped past.

Everybody’s favourite anarchist collective pop group, Chumbawamba, has covered The Beatles’ Golden Slumbers to help raise money for children who want to swim with dolphins.

Rapper Sean Combs (pictured), cleared last month of gun and bribery charges, has run foul of the law again: he allegedly made an illegal lane change on a scooter at Miami Beach.

Gerri “I’m too good to be a Spice Girl” Halliwell has denied her face is superimposed onto a dancer’s body in the video for her new version of It’s Raining Men.

Robbie Williams will record a new version of We Are The Champions with the surviving members of Queen. A spokesman insisted it was a one-off collaboration, scuttling rumours of a tour.

Roll On

Author: John Everson

The Living End
Roll On

If you’re thirsty for some late ’70s, early ’80s leaning punk rock, check out the latest by the Australian trio The Living End. Originally a rockabilly band, the Melbourne natives have moved to a faster, harder attack over the past five years, bringing to mind the early work of Bad Religion, The Clash, and Green Day. The band has been on the road as openers with Green Day, Blink 182 and The Offspring, and the influence of all those modern punk bands (as well as some manic harmonies with Beatles roots) is readily apparent throughout Roll On, the band’s followup to its 1998 self- titled debut and two prior EPs. While not particularly ground- breaking rock, for anyone with a penchant for that classic U.K. punk sound from the age of The Sex Pistols, The Living End nails it well on Roll On, delivering high octane gems in the title track, “Pictures in the Mirror,” and “Riot on Broadway.” This is fist-pounding, chant-with-every-chorus punk rock.

Roll On

Author: Joe Warminsky III

Roll On

The rockabilly edge of The Living End’s 1998 self-titled disc set it apart from the world of alt-rock guitar wankers, but the Australian band claims it has outgrown the rootsy sound. Oh, well. “Roll On,” the follow-up, would benefit from more swing and sting sprinkled among its slicked-up, working-class punk anthems. Producer Nick Launay (Silverchair, Midnight Oil) might carry the most blame – every song he massages gains an element of Loverboy. But that’s not a direct dis on The Living End’s hook-powered tunes – singer Chris Cheney is one of the few politically astute radio-rockers around, without romanticizing the plight of the little guy. But because of that, “Roll On” evokes the inevitable comparisons to The Clash, and the band certainly can’t hide its affection. If the careers of Green Day and Rancid are any indication, it’s gonna take The Living End a little while to figure out exactly what kind of band it is.

The Living End, Midtown, Hot Rod Circuit, River City High and Thurs- day, 8 p.m. Tuesday, Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St., Philadelphia, 215-922-1011.

Roll On

Author: Ron Rollins

THE LIVING END Roll On (rock)

This trio of sharp-dressed young Aussies kicks off its first American release with its best early-Clash impression on the title tune, right down to a convincingly Joe Strummer-esque snarl or two. Roll On (Reprise) moves from there into other exercises in mimicry that range from obvious nods to Midnight Oil, some AC/DC and even a bit of Mott the Hoople thrown in. Just as we were inclined to give ’em a B on listenability, we couldn’t figure out who, or what, the Living End wants to be. How about themselves? Rich Little would be proud.

– Reviewed by Ron Rollins

Roll On

Author: Kyle Munson

The Living End, “Roll On” (Reprise)

For those who consider the Clash’s “London Calling” the Holy Grail of punk rock: This Australian trio has taken a hearty swig from that classic on their cracking sophomore album.

On The Roll With The Living End

Author: Glenn Fowler

Prior to catching The Living End at The Garage in Glasgow, I had the opportunity to speak with Chris, Scott & Travis about the current tour, the new album and what they think about being compared to other bands. Among other things.

How has the UK tour gone, and what have been your highlights?
The tour has been sold out at almost all of the venues almost every night. We’ve been to England before, but this is the first time that we’ve played in Scotland. We haven’t really been promoted that much over here, but people are still showing up at our shows. So all of the hard yards that we are putting in touring and playing is paying off and that is what The Living End do best, we’re not so much a radio band.
Chris: My standout memory would be lack of sleep. No, hang on. That’s every tour!
Travis: The sold out show at the London Astoria is hard to top. – To sell out such a famous rock and roll venue as quickly as we did and a month before we played there was awesome. The Astoria wasn’t just full of Aussies either, the locals had come along to have a listen as well. Up to the Astoria gig we had a few problems with equipment and stuff, so the Astoria was just a killer gig for us.
Scott: The gig with Aerosmith in Munich was pretty memorable. Aerosmith had heard about us somewhere and asked for The Living End to do the support for a warm up show before they went on tour. The Aerosmith guys didn’t play as much rock and roll as we thought they would, more bluesy stuff. But Aerosmith are really good at what they do.

The new album has a lot of variations.
We were going to make the album more eclectic, but we made a conscious decision to make it how we have. Each song grows on you rather than being an instant hit and all of the songs sound different. So that way you don’t get sick of the whole album as it all sounds the same and you will still have a favourite song in a months time, but it will be a different song. The next album we hope will be more of everyone’s outside influences.

How do you generally work when writing and recording an album? Do you have a formula that you work to when recording?
Last year we started writing and recording Roll On and then we started touring, but the next time we will break it up a bit. Spend some time at home, then back on the road to break up the writing thing. We had heaps of songs for Roll On, so we weren’t suffering from a lack of material and we had heaps and heaps of songs that we had confidence in. But being at home for as long as we were while recording just makes it even harder to be away from home for this long now.
Travis: We haven’t had a holiday for a couple of years and sure we were recording the last album at home, but that meant 4:00 am finishes. Then get up early to have a life, see girlfriends, pay bills etc. and be back in the studio by 12:00 lunchtime and the same process again day after day.
Chris: We did some shows while we were at home, but it didn’t feel like we’d had a break at the end of that and now we are back on the road for this tour.
Travis: We released the album earlier in Australia to get a head start there. Then started shows in November, so we’ve been going for 4 months now.

How do you deal with the Clash and Green Day comparisons?
We could be compared to worse bands. But both bands are diverse, so it’s a compliment. The Clash were very eclectic, so that’s a good comparison. And Green Day do their stuff well, but they concentrate more on the style that they play. To be compared to both outfits is almost a contradiction in itself.
Scott: We have a powerful punky element as well, so I think that it’s weak to compare us to Green Day. But if we sound like The Clash, then which point in their career do we sound like because they changed so much and sounded different on each album.
Travis: They have to label you as something. But those bands paved the way to make punk more commercial. Punk is very educated about the world and politcal differences, where rock and roll is just about music, drugs and girls. Punk rock has a message. There are a hell of a lot of differences between the personalities of the Green Day guys and us. I would say that we are more like The Jam than anyone. But all in all we are The Living End.

Roll On is a very guitar oriented album.
Hellbound had lots of guitar riffs and lead breaks on it, as does the new one, but I think that we are just playing better now. We are definitely more rock rather than rockabilly these days. So the guitars have come to the forefront more. The songs on Roll On were intended to be more simple and therefore easier to play live. But I don’t think that they came out that way, but there are certain bits that are more straight ahead rock and guitar. Pictures In The Mirror may be more complex but basically it’s a rock song. Where as some of the rockabilly and psychobilly stuff that we’ve done in the past just doesn’t sound big and powerful enough in comparison.

Are there songs that you’ve recorded and you wished that you hadn’t?
Yeah, there was a track on the Hellbound EP the ninth track and it’s a daggy sort of song. There were problems with the pressing of the album and 500 copies were pressed wrongly. If you own one of the 500 copies you’re lucky, because they go for big bucks on eBay and I don’t even think I have one!
Travis: I don’t think that we’ve done our best work yet, so there will always be something that we wished we hadn’t done.

How have you been received in the UK and US?
I feel that we’ve got more in common with the UK Rock and Roll scene, we probably aren’t gimmicky enough for the US market, but they are still listening to us.
It feels almost like a cult thing, like when we first started in Australia. The people who are showing up at our shows are more fanatical over here and playing smaller venues is refreshing. Don’t get me wrong though, we love playing to 40,000 people as well.
Scott: We are generally treated the same in the US as the UK, but California’s a little bit different, because we get some more radio airplay. So there at least we have more of an audience.

Do you find song writing an easy process?
I find song writing very difficult. It’s really fun but lots of work and when it;s finished it’s a big relief. I find that it’s the human factor coming through in the music. The lyrics just come out in my thought process, and now people think that’s our thing but the next album might be totally stupid.
What you want with rock and roll is for people to get lost in your little fantasy world. We always try to have double meanings in our songs, so that if you want to read something into it you can.

You tend to play a lot of covers. Why, when you have so much of your own material?
We try to do things a bit left of centre. It would be very obvious if we did a punk rock song. But maybe we should, as we haven’t done one yet. It’s a bit of light heartedness and to have fun. It’s also just so that the audience has fun, cause you just can’t buy fun.
Chris: We used to be a cover band and knew 300 odd songs. It would be cool to throw in a few more now, but we are trying to promote us. We mainly throw in cover versions to try to vary the nightly routine and keep it interesting. Otherwise we would come off stage thinking, ‘Well we played the same thing again.’

The Living End are far from routine or uninteresting and the songs from Roll On are showing a greater maturity in both musicianship and song writing. Thanks to Chris, Scott and Travis for taking the time out to have a chat.

The Living End – Roll On

Author: Unknown

Don’t get me wrong — this Aussie version of “punk” isn’t punk as we know it in the states. It’s more like a commercial stab at punk — an attempt at making punk approachable — sort of a kinder, gentler Rocket From the Crypt.

Or my opinion has been clouded by the fact that they’re a product of Australia, a country that’s brought us such wholesome entertainment staples as Mick Dundee, Men at Work, the 2000 Olympics, Olivia Newton John, Survivor II, AC/DC, Mad Max and those lovable ‘roos. Isn’t punk suppose to be about rebellion, anarchy and anger? How could anyone possibly be angry living in the sun-drenched world of Foster’s Lager and cool, throaty accents that drive chicks mad?

That said, the trio, which includes smooth vocalist Chris Cheney on guitar, Trav Demsey on drums, and Scott Owen on upright bass, knows how to create pop-punk songs that are so ingeniously catchy, hook-filled and downright fun, they’re impossible to resist. Kind of like punk for people who like the idea of punk, but don’t really like to listen to it. Their music has more in common with Def Leppard than the Sex Pistols. We’re talking quick, clean, punk-esque rock, exquisitely produced and played by a trio that’s as tight as a tic and very aware that their strong suit isn’t making a point, but playing hook-filled, sonic fireworks.

Even when try act tough they come off loveable. Though each track seems to start in punk mode, it only takes a few moments before the pop bleeds through. The jumpy “Riot On Broadway” owes a lot to its shout-out chorus; drunk anthem “Carry Me Home” starts off like Wango Tango-era Nugent or early Aerosmith; the chorus on “Dirty Man” would fit right in on a John Wesley Harding CD, while “Silent Victory” sounds like something off Hi and Dry.

What separates this from greasy kids’ stuff like Blink 182 and Pennywise is that these guys have been around a lot longer, and it shows. In other words, you’re not gonna feel embarrassed listening to it in your office, though you might get some strange looks when you can’t help but turn it up.