From Here On In – The Singles 1997-2004

Author: Mike Wafer

The Living End / From Here On In – The Singles 1997-2004

Chris Cheney has to be one of the best guitarists, singers and songwriters in Australian music. His melodies are always supremely catchy, his riffs and solos superb blends of rockabilly, blues and rock and the pop song formula (verse, chorus, verse etc) never over or under-done. The biggest, and possibly only, flaw of The Living End is their absolutely appalling lyrics. The band’s love of acts such as The Clash, or perhaps their desire to become them, lead to extremely outdated and utterly bullshit ’77 London working class punk gibberish that has no relevance today. If it weren’t for the lyrics then every song of these 14 blisteringly catchy singles would be regarded as classics, rather than teen-demographic tunes of token ‘fuck society’ rebellion. In short, no one takes this band seriously on the issues they address, which is sad, because their heart is in the right place, but the difference between The Living End and, say, Midnight Oil is a matter of articulation. Chris Cheney’s voice is so crisp and clear that ignoring the lyrics is hardly easy, but as soon the band let their instruments take the driver’s seat it is dead easy to remember what is loveable about this band.

This singles collection is well worth owning, as there is not a bad song on it, just keep it out of reach of school kids or it might rev them up to dye their hair, rip their jeans or, heaven forbid, vandalise a phone box.