What’s On Your Radio

Author: Unknown

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Considering the frequent excursions of genre with their Modern ARTillery, it’s almost a shock when The Living End return to the straight-ahead rockabilly-ish racer rock of their original MO. What’s On Your Radio, as such, is neither freshly “up yours” as their earlier stuff nor as intriguing (if not entirely successful) as their later work. However, as is generally the case with a TLE song, it’s always a joy to hear Chris Cheney rip into another filigree guitar solo, as he does here. It’s nice to know some things never change.

Staying Live Close To Home

Author: Unknown

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Thousands of soft drink-swilling music fans descended on Rod Laver Arena for the Melbourne leg of the year’s biggest cross-promotional event. About 11,000 people packed Sunday’s Coke Live ‘n Local event, which boasted only punters who had bought (and peeled the label from) a bottle of the fizzy beverage.

The ‘local’ component came in the form of home-grown acts The Spazzys, Dallas Crane, Spiderbait and The Living End, while P Money’s inclusion on the bill showed that in a globalised world, New Zealand is practically next door.

Despite their diverse styles – punk rock and hip-hop are strange bedfellows, aren’t they? – acts were tied by a jungle backdrop and spectacular light show.

Live music zealots Henry and Andrew from MacKillop College took time out from their own band, Sensei, to see how the big guns do it, while others just wanted to lap up the atmosphere.

Regardless of motivation, everyone showed their gratitude for admission to the exclusive event by joining in a Mexican wave.

And, in Aaron, Miles, Georgie and Mich’s case, by publicly thanking their mum for the Coke.

From Here On In The DVD 1997-2004

Author: Unknown

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‘The Living End’
From Here On In The DVD 1997-2004
EMI

The Living End – From Here On In DVD is a must see for all Living End fans. Having spent my uni days listening to them on the radio and seeing them at the ANU Bar, this DVD reminded me why I like them so much.

Influenced by The Who, The Clash, The Sharps and The Beatles, along with a myriad of 50’s rockabilly music, The Living End have created the Punkabilly genre of which they are king.

Disc One gives all the favourite music videos including the two that started their rocket to fame, Prisoner Of Society and Second Solution. Festival clips from Summersonic, Splendour in the Grass and Big Day Out take up the 2nd half.

Disc Two features a two hour doco which gives some fascinating insight into the origins of this band, how they started and their musical influences. The brilliant innocence of their early days contributed greatly to their success and there are a few lessons for anyone wanting to be a rock star. Footage of their early gigs is hilarious for the fashions and the crowds and when they go off at Falls Festival in 1998 (I was there!) it makes you want to just go to summer festivals all year long.

A must see for any Aussie music fan.

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.

Modern Artillery

Author: Sam Vinall

The Living End 
Modern Artillery

When one listens to a record from The Living End, to a certain extent one knows what to expect: brilliant musicianship and songs that make you want to get up and fight. ‘Modern Artillery’ provides this all, with breathtaking guitar solos and The Living End’s trademark early eighties rockabilly style, but ‘Modern Artillery’ is both impressively diverse and, when compared with previous album ‘Roll On’, a lot more straightforward.

‘Modern Artillery’ has already spawned the singles One Said To The Other, the anthemic Who’s Gonna Save Us and the early eighties inspired Tabloid Magazine. These are all great songs, especially Who’s Gonna Save Us, which contains what I believe is probably the best guitar solo on the album (which sounds a little like the solo from Hotel California in the way it’s layered).

There are also a surprising number of ballads like Jimmy, Putting You Down (which, if I might go out on a limb seems to me to have elements of Ween and Rod Stewart. So there), the alt-country-sounding So What, and (what I consider to be the best track) In The End. One comparison I could draw from all of the ballads was to Australian stalwarts You Am I; but for old school fans of The Living End there is still plenty of faster tracks like Hold Up, What Would You Do and End Of The World, so you don’t have to worry.

End-Eavor

Author: Unknown

The Living End met a dedicated fan when they did an in-store at HMV’s Bourke Street store in Melbourne. A girl came from a tattoo parlour with their logo inked on her back, and asked them to sign around it so she could get their signatures tattooed as well. All up a strange arvo for the band. Over 1,000 people turned up, and lurched forward when the End started to play, knocking over CD racks and the mixing desk.

The Split Personality Tour

Author: Simon Barber

JEBEDIAH, THE LIVING END, TURNSTYLE

The Prince of Wales Hotel

The sold out gig began with a set from Turnstyle, of which I caught about half. Punters, sitting and standing, were scattered around the pub. Despite some strong guitar hooks and competent playing, the crowd failed to take any real interest. Turnstyle played the difficult support slot professionally, but with a sense of humour. They finished and told us The Living End was up next and hopefully we would “get off our arses” then.

By the time The Living End took the stage to play their distinct brand of punk/rockabilly, the venue was almost completely packed. The crowd were very receptive to the Melbourne-based three piece and there was plenty of action to keep them entertained. The unbridled energy of the band prompted a lively mosh and stage-diving. They managed to maintain a frenetic pace, without sacrificing any precision. Owen, on double bass, displayed amazing technique and often spun his instrument around or climbed onto it for effect.

The Living End began with a couple of earlier songs in ‘Misspent Youth’ and ‘Strange’. Radio favourites ‘Second Solution’ and ‘From Here On In’ came across very well live due to the increased tempo and catchy melodies. Variety was added to the set with a cover of The Cure’s [actually Soft Cell’s] ‘Tainted love’ and a few new songs, including the impressive ‘All Torn Down’. But the highlight of the set was ‘Prisoner Of Society’, which set the moshers into a frenzy and had everyone else singing along enthusiastically.

Perth band Jebediah kicked off with excellent performances of ‘Benedict’ and ‘Lino’. The band display some punky direction, but emit a more sophisticated sound with Chris laying important guitar lines and harmonies of many of the songs. The band weren’t quite as tolerant as The Living End and potential stage divers were kicked by Vanessa or dragged from the stage by security. Kevin bluntly said, “If you want to get on stage, start your own fucking band”, his comment met with cheers and laughter.

Jebediah played a varied and energetic set, with the rocking, sing-along tracks like ‘Leaving home’ and ‘Teflon’ complimented well by the more downbeat sentiment of ‘Harpoon’. A new song, ‘Paint Remover’ [The Less Trusted Pain Remover], is intriguing and complex. It is a sprawling piece that builds and falls, gets faster and slower.

The momentum of the show was briefly interrupted when Kevin’s amplifier failed, but not too many people seemed overly concerned. Chris made light of the situation by trying to sell the piece of equipment to the crowd during the delay. However, strong renditions of ‘ Invaders’ and ‘Jerks Of Attention’ had the punters humming away as they left the Prince of Wales, happy that they had seen two of the most exciting live acts in the country.

Gig Review

Author: Dan Oakes

It's For Your Own Good

Last Friday night at the Esplanade saw the launch of the new Living End EP, It’s For Your Own Good. I expected a big crowd, and wasn’t disappointed. 
By the time the Living End came on the place was heaving. 
The Living End launched into their set with unbridled energy and enthusiasm, and within minutes were sweating buckets. 
The drumming was short sharp and in bursts, in the style of Keith Moon (before his bloated, dead in bed phase), and seeing the double bass in action made you realise that, visually, the more conventional bass has nothing on its older brother. As on the EP, the band mixed up punk and ska influences with a predominately rockabilly background, creating what is, in my mind, a pretty unique sound. The crowd was big and responded well to the effort the band were obviously putting into the set. It was interesting as well, to see the mixing of subcultures evident. There were punks, goths, rockabilly fans, indie kids, ska freaks, all getting into the music. The Living End are obviously a band that have a wide appeal, and it is good to see.

It’s For Your Own Good

Author: Avalon Sperring

It's For Your Own Good

Following the release earlier this year of their debut CD EP, Melbourne trio The Living End have moved away from relatively straightforward rockabilly punch with this tasty little six track EP. Although doffing collective caps to influences such as The Clash, Stray Cats and even a quick check to Duanne Eddy (check the glorious guitar solo on Problem). The Living End are beginning to define themselves by their own sound.

A feisty mix of tunes means it’s difficult to pin these guys down, which is never a bad thing. They are becoming conversant with melody within grunt, and plaintive qualities seeping through punchy rhythms, particularly on One More Cell, which is a pop/punk tune dependent on its neatly pumped out chord progression and cheesy chorus for effect. From Here On In and Stay Away From Me reflect the rockabilly aspect of The Living End, with the latter jumping straight into a thrash out with gorgeous accents and atypical bassline.

Bass player Scott Owen and singer/guitarist Chris Cheney belt out vocals with more enthusiasm than finesse, but this works within the context of the songs. English Army is a little too obvious in its debt to The Clash, however The Living End have stamped their mark on the groove if not the melody.

Closing with an inventive cover of The Cure’s 10:15 Saturday Night, It’s For Your Own Good is an immediately infectious slice of this band’s energetic approach to a musical meld that can only be described as a rockabilly/ska cross, however they aren’t afraid to throw in a touch of the pop hook, but nevertheless harness power from the urgency of rockabilly more than anything else. Good stuff for a bit of a dance, if you’re that way inclined.

It’s For Your Own Good

Author: Sandro Olivo

It's For Your Own Good

This has been a frantic year for this three piece punk outfit from Melbourne. It released it’s first EP, Hellbound, at the start of the year and then earned the support slot for green haired trendsetters Green Day. So it is no surprise that this CD’s first track, From Here On In, has a distinct similarity to the American band. But that is where all similarities end.
On this second EP, English Army, One More Cell, Stay Away From Me, Problem and 10:15 Saturday Night set themselves apart with the sound embracing all that is punk. Ska and rockabilly are interspersed through the songs which set the head rocking and the feet stomping. The guitars have a harsh resonating sound and Chris Cheney’s vocals are brilliant.

Perhaps Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong could listen and learn. This album is true punkerama.