So it’s another hot week, and having abandoned one draft post and in the absence of any other material, I thought I’d write a brief review of my latest audio purchase — “State of Emergency”, the new (well, it was new in April) album from The Living End.
I already own several Living End discs — their debut self-titled album; follow-up “Roll On”, and their singles collection “From Here On In” (including bonus disc of covers), but this latest of releases is something of a departure from the standard fare, introducing something more akin to a post-ska flavour mooching in and out of a few of the tracks. The driving, vintage-sounding riffs of the early albums are somewhat shunned in favour of a cleaner, more modern sound, with greater use of trippy FX and more indie-sounding guitar work.
A more political spin on this one too — a sprinkle of “Roll On”-esque anthems for the working man, most notably “Long Live The Weekend”, but also tracks like “Wake Up” frying bigger fish, with a critique of recent events with the USA and Iraq, assessing Australia’s involvement. The disc flip-flops between heavy and light in a manner that keeps the listener on their toes, particularly in later tracks where the Shadows-esque “Order of the Day” is sandwiched between hard-rawking “Reborn” and “Nowhere Town”.
Overall an excellent album, not quite reaching the heights of their self-titled or “Modern ARTillery” albums, but certainly holding its own. The move from the “classic” sound is executed with panache, but it doesn’t quite get the feet thumping like the rollercoaster rockabilly of earlier material. High points: “Long Live the Weekend”, “Black Cat” and “We Want More”.