Home Read Classic Album Review: The Living End | Roll On

Classic Album Review: The Living End | Roll On

The Aussie trio evolve into an unusual musical hybrid on their diverse second LP.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Kangaroos, koalas, platypuses. Australia has more than its share of weird species. Meet another one — The Living End.

This Aussie trio started off as a Stray Cats-inspired rockabilly outfit complete with standup bass, vintage Gretsch guitars and high-piled hair. Somewhere along the line, though, the band’s music started to veer more towards edgy old-school punk anthems. Which brings us to Roll On, their second full-length album and one of the most unusual hybrids around. Although the vintage instrumentation and twangy, high-energy boogie of Riot on Broadway and Carry Me Home are punkabilly straight outta Rev. Horton Heat’s Bible, the sharper, heavier riffs of cuts like Pictures in the Mirror could be from Green Day’s last album. And this musical rambling — which, make no mistake, the band pull off admirably — doesn’t end there. Just to make things even more interesting, Don’t Shut the Gate’s arena-rock wallop and singalong chorus are right out of Midnight Oil, Blood on Your Hands flirts with skanky reggae, and if Angus Young didn’t inspirethe riff-rocker Silent Victory, I’m a monkey’s uncle. Or is that a kangaroo’s kin?