Author: Jason Kellner
The Living End
“Modern Artillery” (release date is March 2) Reprise
It’s been nearly four years since we’ve heard from Australia’s The Living End here in the States. Well, whatever it takes to make two fine albums in a row is OK with me.
The band seems to share genetic material with The Clash in both sound and socially inspired songs. But where The Clash dove off into reggae at times, The Living End’s tangents are rooted in rockabilly, authentically delivered by the band’s stand-up bass player Scott Owen.
The Living End was lucky enough to have some extra exposure with the inclusion of “Who’s Gonna Save Us” on the soundtrack to the Farrelly Brothers’ “Stuck On You.” The song-which has more to do with the riffs of Australian peers AC/DC and the charged lyrics of Midnight Oil than The Clash-is about the lack of leadership.
“We’re under attack now/ Our work is all cut out/ Whatever happened to your rights?”
But even if you’re paying attention to the messages in the lyrics, they’re presented in catchy, anthemic packages without sounding angry or preachy. Like 2000’s “Roll On,” The Living End could exercise some self- control by whittling down the 14 tracks to 11 or 12, but that’s what the skip button’s for.
The Living End is heading out on a U.S. tour with Jet and The Vines, which includes a stop at the New Oasis in Sparks on March 6. The show here, however, is part of a warm-up tour, and doesn’t include Jet or The Vines.
RIYL: The Clash, Green Day