Rock­a­bil­lies thrash out new riff

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Music - JAR­RAD BE­VAN

CHRIS Cheney has pushed his band for­ward with a new sound.

The up­side is that The Liv­ing End sound fresh, re­ju­ve­nated and ready to make an­other half-dozen al­bums.

The down­side is that those who liked the band’s punk and rock­a­billy roots will be lucky to hear any of that in­flu­ence here.

There is a depth to the al­bum that only comes with ma­tu­rity, a will­ing­ness to ex­per­i­ment and switch your style that is of­ten too ‘‘ out there’’ or scary dur­ing a band’s early years.

As a song­writer, Cheney is a sponge who soaks up in­flu­ences from all kinds of gen­res, from Spring­steen to The Prodigy.

He ties them to­gether with his own ex­pe­ri­ences and has turned in an im­pres­sive, slick, pitch-per­fect batch of rock ’ n’ roll songs.

The al­bum The End is Just the Be­gin­ning Re­peat­ing thrives on di­ver­sity.

There’s some Brit-rock ( For An­other Day), some heavy rock­ers like the ti­tle track, a few tunes that were in­flu­enced by clas­sic sounds ( Heat­wave) and oth­ers by fu­tur­is­tic ideas ( Song For the Lonely).

What ties them all to­gether into a co­he­sive pack­age is great basslines, punchy drums and Cheney’s ex­cel­lent song­writ­ing and gui­tar play­ing.

He’s also a deft rock ’ n’ roll singer who is able to de­liver sub­tle sin­cer­ity on the qui­eter songs and ballsy grunt on the heav­ier rock­ing tunes.

Heat­wave is a straight-ahead rocker that sounds mu­si­cally and lyri­cally very much like Mid­night Oil.

Ma­chine Gun com­bines thick and chunky riffs with echo­ing, shim­mer­ing gui­tar melodies, a strut­ting verse and great lyrics about never walk­ing away or set­tling for the easy way out.

In the Morn­ing tricks the lis­tener with 20 sec­onds of quiet vo­cal melodies be­fore – bam! – the rock riffs and thump­ing drums ap­pear to do some se­ri­ous dam­age.

Away From the City is the al­bum’s most moshpit-ready song. It is, in many ways, the clos­est thing to vintage Liv­ing End on this out­ing.

The lyrics about ris­ing up and mak­ing a stand could fit snugly on any of the band’s back cat­a­logue.

Song for the Lonely is tech­ni­cally a rock song but in a sur­pris­ing twist it sounds like the band wanted to dance the night away.

Cheney dealt with more than his share of per­sonal trou­bles while work­ing on the al­bum – cancer, deaths in his fam­ily and a pre­ma­turely born daugh­ter. Each de­mon he had to face has seeped into his writ­ing . . . how could they not?

The theme of ev­ery­one be­ing dif­fer­ent but ex­actly the same pops up through­out the al­bum.

His lyrics are of­ten per­sonal and soul-search­ing but, at the same time, uni­ver­sal in scope.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.