The Living End

State of Emergency

[3/5] Pogo-friendly Aussie exports get experimental and live to tell about it.
When Aussie pop-punks the Living End are at their considerable best, they serve up catchy yet snarling pogo-fests with lyrical weight to match, made all the meatier by splashes of rockabilly, ’80s pop and classic British punk. While those elements remain present on the band’s latest full-length, State Of Emergency, the record suffers from inconsistencies, mostly arising from its more experimental nature. It’s not until four tracks in that State hits its stride with the march-like stomp of “We Want More,” followed by the hooky and dark standout “Wake Up,” and the manic rockabilly-metal of “What’s On Your Radio?” The remaining tracks are mostly hit or miss, but moments like the Police-flavored “One Step Behind” or the Two-Tone-styled ska of “Nowhere Town” assure that this is a band capable of finding their way, even when they veer off the expected path. (ADELINE/EAST WEST) Brendan Manley