Much like the phoenix born again from its own ashes, The Living End has resurrected itself from the depths of adversity. With its most recent release MODERN ARTillery, the Australian band proves it’s back in the public eye and ready to perform.
The trio, composed of guitarist/vocalist Chris Cheney, bassist/vocalist Scott Owen and new drummer Andy Strachan, reflects upon this theme in its song “Rising Up from the Ashes.” This, along with the album’s remaining 13 songs, is a mix of fast paced punk and rock and roll.
Lyrically reminiscent of a mature Blink 182 and vocally suggestive of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, the Melbourne-based band presents its newest material under recording label Reprise Records.
Formed a decade ago Down Under, The Living End shot to success almost overnight in 1998 with the overwhelming response to its single “Prisoner of Society/Second Solution.” Two albums and tours across Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States followed. In 2001, injuries Cheney sustained in a car accident prevented the band from traveling and recording. Then, the drummer quit. MODERN ARTillery is the group’s reintroduction to its fans and the world.
The Living End stretches its style and deviates from its usual rhythm in a few tracks. “So What” stands out with its slower country twang. “In the End” is a throwback to true classic rock sounds. “The Room,” a winding, eight-minute roller coaster of melodies and vocals, concludes the album with a flourish.
The first song – “What Would You Do?” – seems to be a misplaced, poor introduction to the rest of the collection. With its powerful, politically charged lyrics and catchy chorus, “Who’s Gonna Save Us?” would have been a better choice. In the end, whether the question is answered or the band is saved, The Living End delivers.
Rachel Luhta can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.