ARTillery: Australian for
Check the bottom of your shoes folks, something smells like Dookie. Aussie rock heroes The Living End have returned after three years, but fans worldwide might be more than a little disappointed with their third full length, Modern ARTillery. Since gaining international popularity The End has been known for their Clash-esque square rhythms and a cool rockabilly groove much like the Stray Cats. However, it seems the End has traded in Mr. Strummer and Mr. Setzer for the likes of a pop-punk punch with a hint of new-wave pop that results in something of a slowed, bland Green Day knockoff. ARTilleryâ€šÃ„Ã´s sluggish pace is an almost invariable testament to its creation; much of the album was written from a bed following a near-fatal car crash involving frontman Chris Cheney. Also a factor was the production of Mark Trombino, best known for recently taking Jimmy Eat World and Blink 182 to the top of the charts. The problem lies in that the Living End was a band made great by fiery passion and shout-along choruses, not by excellent lyrics or four chord catchiness.
The whole album is not for loss as that old Living End sound creeps out on the edgy â€šÃ„ÃºEnd of the Worldâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºHold Up,â€šÃ„Ã¹ both manic showcases of the stand-up bass lines and rowdy attitude that made them a beer-drinking, knee-slapping favorite. Cheney also experiments successfully with a banjo twang on â€šÃ„ÃºSo Whatâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and epic storytelling on the eight-minute conclusion â€šÃ„ÃºThe Room.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Nevertheless, these enjoyable moments are few and far between, and End fans and owners of bar jukeboxes alike should pass on this record and wait for some heavier ARTillery.