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Old 09-29-2008, 05:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Living End - White Noise


The Living End
White Noise
2008
Dew Process Records

1. How Do We Know?
2. Raise the Alarm
3. White Noise
4. Moment in the Sun
5. Waiting for the Silence
6. Make the Call
7. Loaded Gun
8. Kid
9. 21st Century
10. Hey Hey Disbeliever
11. Sum of Us


The Living End have never really fit into one genre. From the Punkabilly sound of their self-titled debut to the pop/rock of State of Emergency, their sound is ever-changing. White Noise, the band’s fifth studio effort, is no exception to this. They have put aside any past confusion as to their exact genre, and have delivered 11 tracks of straight-up, no-strings-attached Aussie rock.

The gap between the release of State of Emergency and White Noise was more than two and a half years. So expectations were high for their new record. The album gets off to a flying start with the opening riff of How Do We Know, A ballsy Punkabilly track, which if it wasn’t so polished, could have easily fit into the bands debut album. This track sets the tone for the rest of the album; a collection of tracks that relive TLE’s former glory, with slightly more polish and mainstream appeal than their earlier work.

The band has no problem with showing their influences this time around. How Do We Know is punk, with a hint of ‘80s rock, while the opening riff to Loaded Gun screams AC/DC in every possible way. I’m not saying that this album is overly derivative of other bands, of that it certainly is not guilty. Every song on the album is made for a band like TLE, with rockabilly guitar riffs, fast, pounding drumbeats, and simple, yet brilliant baselines.

Cheney’s lyrics are as up-front, direct, and literal as ever. This lyrical style is extremely evident on the track Raise the Alarm (I may not believe in God/It doesn’t mean I’m a lesser person/ I still have a heart/And I know what it feels to be broken). Cheney’s shining moment, however, comes on the heart-wrenching Loaded Gun, written about Charles Menzes, an innocent man who was shot dead by police at a London tube station after a series of bombings. (And the news report said/The law protected/But the young man never had a clue/And the message to his mother read/Sorry, but your son is dead/This is our job and we were ordered to take his life). Cheney’s lyrics don’t always flow and naturally and directly as this. The lyrics in the song 21st Century almost seem like Cheney is trying to hard to be a “punk”, or politically incorrect. Reading through lyrics, it would appear that he just picked up a newspaper and selected random words that seemed to be relevant to today’s society, and mashed them together into a song (Mohammed Ali/Kurt Cobain/There’s no such thing as cheap cocaine……….. Global warming just ain’t cool/Too much chlorine in the gene pool).

Of course, the album is definitely not without its shortcomings. If there is one track that falls flat on it’s face, it would have to be Sum of Us. This song sounds like The Beach Boys, The Cat Empire and The Sex Pistols had a love child. This mediocre attempt at a Punk rock band trying to be surf/reggae is a disappointing finish to an album that is otherwise mostly quality.

Overall, this album is a solid rock album that occasionally sinks into a pool of mediocrity, and while fans of the band’s older work still may not be completely satisfied, this is probably as close as The Living End are going to get to returning to their roots.



Tracks to download:
Raise the Alarm
Make the Call
Loaded Gun
Hey Hey Disbeliever

Tracks to skip:
21st Century
Sum of Us

Sound – 9/10
Lyrics – 6/10
Overall impression – 8/10
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The Living End have never really impressed me. Some of their songs are kinda fun, but they don't really stand out to me in any way, and the new single hasn't done anything to change my mind.

They strike me as a band that would be good to see live though..
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Old 10-03-2008, 10:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fruitonica View Post
The Living End have never really impressed me. Some of their songs are kinda fun, but they don't really stand out to me in any way, and the new single hasn't done anything to change my mind.

They strike me as a band that would be good to see live though..
Yeah they are great live. This new album is probably their best because they left all the rough edges in and tried to capture the energy of their gigs.
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Old 10-20-2008, 05:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fruitonica View Post
The Living End have never really impressed me. Some of their songs are kinda fun, but they don't really stand out to me in any way, and the new single hasn't done anything to change my mind.

They strike me as a band that would be good to see live though..
Yeah you're absolutely right, they are a great band to see live. I've got most of their albums and to be honest I don't listen to them very often - BUT I've never missed a chance to see them live because they're just so much fun and with so much energy. They put on a great gig. I saw them a couple of weeks ago for the White Noise tour and the new album did prove itself in the sense of live music.
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