Australian Punk Rock? You got it, this is an example of that. The Living End originated from Melbourne and this, their debut album, got some attention. Is it any good though? Let’s find out.
We begin with Prisoner Of Society which has an awesome riff-based intro. Shortly after, bass guitar enters and the rest of the band follows. The song itself is fantastically catchy, and is very fast, being super uptempo. This is an excellent piece of Punk Rock from the late 1990s when this sort of music was seemingly a trend. The chanting and singing here are wonderful. The guitar solo here is rather old school, but this is very welcome here. An excellent song and this is a great start to this album.
Next is Growing Up (Falling Down) which is another super-fast piece that sounds like very good quality listening. It is a good song that is decent and catchy. This sounds a lot like Green Day in some respects, but all the same, this is solid listening. The guitar solo here is really manic and impressive. This is a well constructed and nice piece of music that is interesting to hear.
Second Solution comes along next and is a more old school sounding piece. The singing in the chorus is wonderfully catchy. This is as good as it gets for Australian Punk Rock. The guitar solo, once again, is superb and very impressive. There is a Rockabilly feel to this song, somewhat like the Stray Cats. Brilliant though. The shouting towards the end is really good.
West End Riot comes along next. Sounding much more like a melancholy piece and with singing about gang wars, this is not your Pop/Rock radio sounding piece. It is a good tale of suburban misadventures. Musically, this is fairly straightforward, but there is some surprisingly intricate playing here. Good song.
Next is Bloody Mary which starts with an interesting chord and riff part, before going into a piece that sounds very much like Surf Rock. There are some excellent melodies throughout this song, and the band here showcase their different sound very well here. The guitar solo sounds rather different as well, with some decent shredding about it. The riff in the second half cuts in and out, but is a wonderful sounding piece.
Following is Monday which begins sounding a lot like Blink-182. It is a great loud and anthemic piece about the start of the week. There is a sort of Reggae sounding breakdown in the middle here. This is really cool, and the singing in the chorus is very catchy. There is a top guitar solo here as well. The vocal melody is played as a guitar riff towards the end.
All Torn Down starts with a slow arpeggio sort of playing, which builds up gradually before launching into this song. It’s not as good as previous tracks, and really sounds not up to scratch. There is, once again, a Reggae/Rockabilly feel to this song as well. Good, but falls short of being great. The fact that this song goes on for longer than others on the album is also disappointing. The key change at the end is horrible.
Save The Day comes along next and is a big improvement on the previous track. It has a palm-muted riff that sounds excellent, and the song is well performed and delivered. “Take your pride, and swallow, swallow!” is sung here. This is very upbeat and fun listening from The Living End. Very much a catchy and uptempo listening experience in Punk Rock styling. Excellent. The ending is a bit of a surprise.
After that is Trapped which has a Reggae styled feel to it, once again. It is a mixed-up musical piece that has a musical change in the middle, alternating between the main sections of the track. This is quite a fun listen, as is much of the album here. The lyrics discuss the drudgery of (post)modern life, and musically is very decent.
Following is Have They Forgotten with its quick tempo and raw feeling to it. It is another good song on this album, and is interesting, although musically it is virtually the same as other songs on the album. This song, and to a greater extent, album are both wonderful musical efforts. There is a strange-sounding guitar solo in the second half before some tom-tom drums lead into the end of the song. Nice.
Fly Away begins with a more subdued approach to the music at hand here. It is a more Pop based music piece, rather than being straight ahead Punk Rock. A good listen anyway, this is really good and different. It has a clean and quacky sounding guitar solo here in the middle of the song. Not bad to listen to.
I Want A Day is another song that is good listening to. It is a self-pitying sort of statement from The Living End, but all the same is a good song. It is relatable, at least. Still, a consistent listening experience on this album. A Fender style guitar solo is here. The key change, once again, is not necessary here. The outro powers on in a frenzy.
Next is Sleep On It which is a gloomy sounding piece from the start. It is a depressing sort of listening experience, which is contradictory to the feel of earlier on in the album. Probably not really worth listening to. It’s not outright bad, just rather musically lacking. Rather depressing. The chanting doesn’t seem good here, either, as well as yet another key change in this song towards the end.
Last here is Closing In which has a strange sort of riffing and sound about it. There are no lyrics here, just an instrumental that is actually really quite good. It has a multitude of different musical sections to get you interested, going back and forth between each. A good way to finish off a good album. The guitar playing here is really quite good as well.
This is surprisingly good Punk Rock music. The Living End make music that is decent, enjoyable and influenced by a wide array of genres. This is their best album, and although it is not entirely consistent, is still a good listen. Sounds just as good today as it did in 1998.