This Aussie three piece arrive back on the scene nigh on four years since the release of their second album ‘Roll On’, an album that looked to take them to stellar status worldwide. But while the U.S. has taken them to their hearts big time, as a result of constant touring and major festivals with everyone from No Doubt to Blink 182, here in ol` blighty, The Living End remain something of an unknown commodity. With the release of ‘Modern Artillery’ that may be all about to change, it’s an album brimful of potential singles that would worm their way very easily into a nations sensibilities given the sort of blanket coverage granted to most division three Social pop-punsters.
The songs have all the necessary driving melodies and huge choruses that ooze ‘buy me now’, but also a sense of everything that is great about classic rock`n`roll, which separates them from much of the cannon fodder that clogs the charts. It’s a potpourri of hard driving rock, Stray Cats rock-a-billy, the punky stylings of Green Day, and an almost Beatle like pop edge blended with a touch of everything from The Clash to reggae and a little bit of country rock. Sounds like a mish-mash that shouldn’t work, but hey it does – quicker than Peter Andre copping a feel of Jordan’s ‘assets’. After a couple of plays the songs are installed in your memory hardrive, check out ‘Tabloid Magazine’, ‘Who’s Gonna Save Us?’, or the Wildheart-esque ‘Short Notice’ and you’ll see what I mean.
Three albums in over six years is hardly prolific, but each Living End outing has been a huge step on from the one before, and those of you who wrote them off as punk pop also rans with the gimmicky upright bass player should really investigate this album. If you grab it early, you will also find a nifty bonus live DVD of the band’s appearance at the Splendour festival last year, that features some of their biggest international hits like ‘Second Solution’ and ‘West End Riot’, along with all the usual backstage goofing around. Fun, the way all great rock`n`roll should be! 8/10