One of my friend's is in a psychobilly band (basically a more Rock N Roll focused form of punk typically played on hollowbody electric guitar, an upright bass and drums; also usually done by three pieces) and I have been slowly looking into the genre. In doing so I came across a name I had not heard in a long time - The Living End. Hailing from Melbourne, Victoria in Australia, which is on the other side of the world to me; these guys have been taking their own vision of this genre around the world since 1994 and this was their debut album which was released in 1998. From what I can remember in the popular presses, this is the only one which got hyped over here in the UK, but I have always seen their name around and have always enjoyed the songs I have heard. But how does a whole album of their stuff hold up.
First things first, this is not trying to fix the world and it is not just about partying; it is a strange balance of the two - there is comments in regards to what is happening around the world around them. For instance the song "Monday" is the band's epitaph to the Dunblane School Massacre in 1996, "West End Riot" is a fictional tale about feud between two former friends in their home town of Melbourne and "All Torn Down" is about the rapid development of Melbourne, which had little regard to what was being destroyed for progress. To say this band does not have a conscience and a soul is just listening to the music. I have to admit I was one of those people for years, but after really looking into the lyrics of this album my respect for them has grown.
For a genre of music that I have not had much to do with, I can honestly say that these guys were definitely on top of their game when this record came out. With 15 tracks of dancing joy and moral affirming brilliance I can say that this is probably one of the most fun debuts I have heard for a long time. When I saw the length of the album I was a little worry that I would lose some interest by the end, but I can honestly say that from beginning to the end there is not one wrong foot or note placed. A beautiful release which needs to be heard by more people; if you don't get this, you have no soul.
10 out of ten - This is proof that there is a God
You can purchase the album from Amazon here
You can visit their website here
You can listen to the album on Spotify here
Here is a live version of "Monday"