Living End : Roll On

Every chorus should be a bonding shoutalong and every song an excuse for severe dehydrati

The Living End decided a few years ago that the rockabilly punk they were playing as The Runaway Boys was old hat. So they widened their horizons. They progressed into a style more relevant to the youth of today. Now, they sound like The Clash.

‘Roll On’ is the successor to The Living End’s eponymous debut from 1998, an album that propelled them to the tops of charts in their native Australia. They haven’t tinkered with their old school formula here. These are more sturdy, manful tunes that draw earnestly on rock’n’roll, ska, The Jam, and even – in the case of the righteous ‘Blood On Your Hands’ – reggae. Quainter yet, these songs don’t just barrel along sweatily. They rail against injustice. So their record player broke in 1983. But tours with Green Day and The Offspring have given The Living End a modern punk rock dynamic, one that dictates that every chorus should be a bonding shoutalong and every song an excuse for severe dehydration. What they severely lack in subtlety, originality, stealth, edginess, mystery, sexiness, slinkiness, inspiration and grace they make up for in staunchness. And, yes, success.

Kitty Empire