(Texas State) University Star

Living End Pumps Punk Into New CD

Author: Ian Ragsdale

The Living End


You’re too late to see The Living End, who passed through Houston March 11, headlining at the Engine Room supported by fellow Australian acts The Vines, Jet and Neon. But you can still pick up its new, solid album, MODERN ARTillery, if you feel the 70’s rock revival acts are a little too plain for your tastes. The Living End has mellowed a lot since its punk-rockabilly debut EP, 1995’s Hellbound, but the stadium punk this trio pumps out is energetic enough for rockers yet radio-friendly for the Top 40 crowd.

It feels like a betrayal to use the word “punk” to describe the music of any band that went five times platinum with its debut album, that had a song in the National Lampoon’s Van Wilder soundtrack and that has toured Australia with AC/DC, but The Living End retains the edge so apparent in its early music.

Given, MODERN ARTillery has ballads reminiscent of sappy Third Eye Blind tunes, but the band gets in a few good punches in the form of short, fast songs with anthem titles ad hopeless lyrics. When guitarist Chris Cheney and upright bassist Scott Owen sing choruses together, it’s easy to imagine a crowd of rebellious youths raising their fists and chanting along.

What sets The Living End apart from other acts in the same vein is that even when the tempo slows, the band’s musical ability and snappy lyrics shine through. You probably won’t be listening to this record with your sweetie, and there certainly is a shortage of such records today.