For Fans Of
The Living End are one of those bands that will be to our kids/grandkids what groups like The Angels and Cold Chisel are to us. A band that everyone likes and held some degree of importance to us in our youth when we all felt like prisoners of society and loved to scream “1, 2, 3.” Not to mention the fact that they are hands down one of the finest live acts this country has ever seen.
Returning with their sixth record ‘The Ending Is Just The Beginning Repeating,’ the rockabilly punks have taken a route that would not be unexpected for a band at this stage in their career but comes as a disappointing surprise considering we are talking about this particular band.
Usually their music has mainstream appeal without sounding too mainstream but the new songs seem to have lost some of the personality that made the group so unique. The biggest let down is the lyrical content, which is simply not as clever as the past efforts we have been offered by Chris Cheney. Whilst still singing about all things rebellious, the statements seem a little too easy.
Musically, the band are trying new things and experimenting with diverse tones to provide something a little different to the norm and in this area they succeed, steering the ship away from complacency.
Opening track In The Morning kicks off with a fine energetic pace and plenty of fast soloing, leading into the quick shuffle of Heatwave. The power ballad For Another Day is placed a little too early on the track list and is probably the least enjoyable song on the record.
A couple of stand-outs are Song For The Lonely and Ride The Wave Boy, as they sound quite unlike anything the band have done before using keyboards and interesting song structures to create some of the most exciting moments of the album. The songs are all extremely catchy, it is clear that the band have perfected the art of song writing for the masses with chorus lines begging to be sing-a-longs.
With each release The Living End have moved slowly towards a more mainstream audience and now it seems they have hit their peak with a record full of rock songs sculpted perfectly for radio and devoid of the elements that made us love and identify with the band in the first place. It is clear that the talent is still there, as it always has been, however the risk and originality present in the older tunes is nowhere to be found. At the very least we know this is not the end for the band, because it really is nothing like the beginning.
1. In The Morning
3. Machine Gun
4. For Another Day
5. Song For The Lonely
6. Ride The Wave Boy
8. Away from The City
11. The Ending Is Just The Beginning Repeating