The Living End

Author: Chuck Eddy

It’s for Your Own Good/Hellbound (Reprise) Second Solution/Prisoner of Society (Rapido Australian import EP)

Like AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, Angel City. Midnight Oil and Celibate Rifles before them, tuneful greasechain rockers the Living End are being thrust into U.S. stores after having first achieved stardom Down Under. The pompadour-punk Teddy-boy power trio from Melbourne plays paradoxically pretty music, dragstrip-fast, with Chris Cheney’s surfabilly guitar zoom hanging ten all over, combing the wild frontier into a horseshoed spaghetti-Western clip-clop. Scott Owen’s double-bass lines dabble in reggae, honkytonk and fingersnappy Mack-the-Knife-tossing-bloodstained-evidence-off-the-pier-early-on-a-foggy-Sunday-morning jazzercize. There’s Green Day in the whines, Clash in the shouts, and the singing gets tart and taut toward ends of lines.

As wordslingers, the Living End aren’t much better than functional, but that doesn’t matter somehow. In “Headlines,” they tear up Sunday papers like Joe Jackson, but mainly their songs are just frames for Cheney to make creative noise. Drums wax martial and harmonies turn into rugby yells about the English army, but no political message comes through, so you never quite figure out what the war is about. With aces of spades, eight balls, dice and fingerprints on their CD covers, and references to streetlights and guilty verdicts, and with two of the songs on their most recently released EP having the word prisoner in their titles, you know they want us to believe they’re ramblin’, gamblin’ men, bom to lose. But not even the more legitimately adolescent sentiment “I’m a brat, and I know everything/And I talk back because I’m not listening to anything you say” comes close to convincing you these kids are really dangerous – sounds more like they learned about juvenile delinquency from ’60s sitcoms and stumbled into their rapid tempos while running away from scarier schoolmates. But since when has being a phony punk ever stopped smart rock & roll boys from bloodying noses? 

The Living End’s American CD debut – as playable a hard-rock album as I’ve heard all year – combines their Hellbound EP, out in Oz in January 1996, with the slightly power-poppish It’s for Your Own Good EP from November of the same year. Current drummer Travis Demsey joined in time for September 1997’s Second Solution/Prisoner of Society EP, still unavailable stateside. An album of new material hits our shores early next year.

Supersuckers, Fireballs, The Living End

Author: Darrell Bassett

Knew bugger all about the Living End until they came on but now I know they are one fine outfit. Kinda boogie, kinda punk, kinda something. Their cover of 10:15 Saturday Night gave a bit more of a perspective of these blokes, but not much – they’re right out of left field.

Living In The Fast Lane

Author: Jason Cole

Three piece Melbourne rockers the Living End experienced a dream run of late, coming off a highly successful with those snotty nosed brats of rock, Green Day. On the horizon, the Living End is a confirmed support nationally for the Reverend Horton Heat touring later this year, plus a show with the Supersuckers. the band has also just released an eight track rockabilly punk treat with Hellbound. I had a chat with lead vocalist/guitarist Chris Cheney and drummer Joey Piripitzi about their experiences on the tour with Green Day, amongst other bits and pieces.

The Living End’s career has not been an overnight success. People seem to think that the band has just received a lucky break with the Green Day tour, but Chris told me this is hardly the case. 
“We have been playing together for about four and a half years and have definately paid our dues. We have done heaps of residencies at crappy bars playing shitty cover versions so it hasn’t be all luck.” Hardly the jump from relative obscurity to major venues as people thought. To describe the sound of the Living End isn’t an easy task, “We’re something of a mixed bag when it comes to our sound,” says Chris. The phrase that has been passed around the traps of late is ‘punkabilly’ a term the band isn’t too sure about, but which I think is pretty close to the mark. There is the sound fusion between fifties rockabilly and a definite punk influence.

Asking the guys about their influences I was provided with a vast array of styles. 
“We dig the fifties rockabilly style of Eddie Cochran, Stray Cats and of course the ‘Rev’ Horton Heat but get into earlier punk stuff like the Clash, Dead Kennedys and the likes of Green Day.” 
Now that’s an interesting mix. It’s no secret that the boys are huge fans off Green Day. They had already bought their tickets, they had sent a tape of their work to Green Day’s management hoping to score a support slot. As it worked out the Green Day lads liked Living End so much they got them on board! (I hope they got a refund on the tickets!) The tour took the bands across the whole of Australia playing to 9000 capacity at the Horden Pavillion – bit of change from the Tote, eh? 
“Yeah, it was a complete buzz, a real adrenalin rush to play those venues and see masses of people looking at you, it was freaky.”

How was the response from the crowd? 
“Unbelievable, they really got into us and were jumping all around and going off! We were a bit freaked out that the crowd would all be die-hard Green Day fans and wouldn’t give a shit about us but it was cool.”

And what were the Green Day fellas like? 
“Really cool guys who were just so down to earth, and easy going, we just hung out in bars after the shows and played pool and took part in some room smashing on the last date of the tour with the drummer Tre Cool.”

Now the boys of the Living End are back in Melbourne. They will be playing a few shows locally and are looking forward to the national tour with their idol, the Reverend Horton Heat which should be huge. The guys are chuffed to win these great support slots, partly due to the fact that they are now in the care of the Cheersquad touring group run by Wally Meanie who takes care of the likes of the Meanies, Snout, etc. The Living End also has a mini-CD out called Hellbound. Produced off the band’s own bat and on the strength of the Green Day tour, the CD also got them a distribution deal with Shock. Currently the CD is doing well and already they are being courted by major record companies. At present the band is just enjoying the ride and certainly looks destined for even bigger and better things in the future.

Hellbound Review

Author: Unknown


Punkish rockabilly trio The Living End draw from the look and sound of fifties rockers the likes of Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran, and more recent revivalists the Stray Cats. They add to this a hefty shot of punk and end with energetic, fiery, aggressive, pounding sound with loads of charm.

The eight track mini-album, Hellbound is a beauty, packed with gems like the frenzied opener Trace Of Doubt, the surf guitar of the title track, the snotty punk rock of The Living End and the rockabilly shuffle of Strange. Tabletop Show is a gritty plodder with great harmonies, Headlines and Misspent Youth are powerful slices of punk, and the closing tune So Lonely is a fun, boppy rock n’ roller.

The Living End are the sort of band that keeps rock n’ roll fresh, regardless of their derivative nature. It’s the energy and enthusiasm that gets you in, as well as the beat of the drums and the slappin’ double bass, the great guitar work and the strong songs. Brilliant!