The Living End - Modern ARTillery (Cover Artwork)

The Living End

The Living End: Modern ARTilleryModern ARTillery (2004)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: adamAdam
(others by this writer | submit your own)

These days they're closer in feel to the Foo Fighters than the Stray Cats, but The Living End continue to craft appealing punk songs with strong musical roots and an undeniable appeal. With Modern ARTillery The Living End capture time and time again that intangible quality that makes a good pop song.
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These days they're closer in feel to the Foo Fighters than the Stray Cats, but The Living End continue to craft appealing punk songs with strong musical roots and an undeniable appeal. With Modern ARTillery The Living End capture time and time again that intangible quality that makes a good pop song so damn enjoyable. You can hear this in the single "Who's Gonna Save Us?," the Joe Jackson feel of "Tabloid Magazine" or the album opening "What Would You Do?." It's entirely a feat in songwriting that the lighter tunes here are as every bit as engaging as the hard-rock bravado of 2001's Roll On.

If there's a villain lurking in the shadows of this release it may be producer Mark Trombino. If anything he's guilty of masking the fact that this band is indeed a three piece, and with that in mind some of the multitasked vocals here just don't seem authentic ("In The End" has more than a few moments of this). There's an edge to these songs that's missing in some places and I'm not ready to blame the band for it. Fortunately the strength of Chris Cheney's songs manages to keep the listener from dwelling too long on the production choices.

This is an album cut very much from the same cloth as Green Day's Warning in that it's a logical and welcome maturing of a 90s mainstream punk band. Songs like "Putting You Down," with it's smooth harmonies and reggae backbeat, or the slide-guitar country ballad "So What" are the type of inspired crossover work that a band with this many Clash influences should be writing. The rollicking "Short Notice" is a throwback to the nervous energy of early Buzzcocks. Anyone looking for the big, muscular rockabilly from their previous few releases are only going to get it on a few songs, most notably "End Of The World," but since it's something the band has done so many times in the past it's no real crime that they've given the formula a break three albums in.

One hopes Reprise gets their promotion straightened out for this one. The band's past releases were too legitimately rock `n roll to make any major impact on the young US mall punk crowd and the band's current pop outlook sounds too mature and genuine for that rabble as well. Modern ARTillery is a fine a rock record and will hopefully get the push it deserves to the right audience this time around. Some questionable production choices aside, if there's any justice in the world the band's songwriting deserves wider recognition.


People who liked this also liked:
The Living End - The Living EndOperation Ivy - Operation IvyRancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesWeezer - WeezerWeezer - PinkertonBlack Flag - DamagedThe Offspring - SmashThe Offspring - IgnitionGeneral Rudie - Cooling The MarkSocial Distortion - White Light, White Heat, White Trash

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
C-Men (June 29, 2008)

i liked this album. really good.

Anonymous (August 18, 2004)

Anyone who likes music at all will love this album. This is the album that got me hooked on this band. Many people will abandon a band if they grow as musicians...i for one will not. This cd frickin' rocks...pick it up ASAP.

rightcliqificus (May 31, 2004)

I just got this album. I loved Roll On. This album is more like a Good Charlotte album than Roll On. That's bad news bears. Chris' guitar work is mediocre at best. The melodies are weak. There's very little to like about the album in whole. Roll On kicked so much ass. What the hell happened?

Anonymous (April 24, 2004)

just in reply to the person who said "all you americans who think roll on is better, get the S/T and tell me roll on is still better".....or something along those lines, sorry if i misquote.
Well, i'm an Australian, and i bought the S/T thinking it was one of the greatest releases from an aussie band ever, then i got Roll On, and quite frankly it just shat all over the S/T, while there is no doubt the S/T is a great album, Roll On has so much more going for it.
The latest is good, i need to listen to it more, i was impressed by the last track on the album, 8 minutes long but held my attention all the way through.

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

wow. does this shit kick Blueline Medic's ass for australian rock music or what?

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

definitly a good album. i look forwards to getting the earlier one.

Anonymous (March 16, 2004)

S/T was good, but Roll On was better. There isn't a song on S/T that comes close to Carry Me Home or Don't Shut The Gate.

Anonymous (March 15, 2004)

All you americans who haven't listened to the S/T, pick it up and THEN tell me Roll On was a better album.

poopypants (March 15, 2004)

solid album. the opening track is about as good of a pop song as can be written. perfect. there are some duds though, that johnny song is lame and a few others that kinda drag. solid overall though.

TheMarc (March 14, 2004)

Imagine what would happen if Trombino recorded a 150-member choir. Oh, the harmonies!

Good album.

theTruman (March 14, 2004)

After a few listens, this album has grown on me. It's very different from the previous albums,but carries itself in a pretty well. I love "Short Notice". Overall, it rocks, just not as hard as "Roll On"

Anonymous (March 14, 2004)

i agree with the few and say "Roll On" was their best effort. but this record is something you shouldn't sleep on either.


CallingLondon (March 14, 2004)

doobies. and deoderant.

Anonymous (March 11, 2004)

roll on, is that cd about rolling doobies or is it roll on deodarant?

Anonymous (March 11, 2004)

Yes, the new album is a little different from their older stuff, but still very good. I thought it was so-so on first listen, but the second time around it kicked my ass. That's a good sign.

- Fatty Arbuckle

CallingLondon (March 11, 2004)

no way, they haven't lost their edge. listen to songs like short notice and hold up, and then tell me they've lost their edge. i'm also willing to bet the songs that have been polished up on record are fantastic live.

Anonymous (March 10, 2004)

You all are goddamn nuts. Roll On was a bunch of arena rock crap, this is crap, too...the first full-length and the EPs were SOOOO much better. Catchier, better guitar/bass/drums on those, for sure. When will we stop buying into this "the band is just maturing" shit? How about, the band has lamed out and lost their edge? Yuck.
-The instrumental song, "Closing In" and the song "Sleep on It" from the first album ("Sleep" is on the Aussie version) are bliss. Listen to that and I pray you won't possibly say this stuff is better.

Anonymous (March 10, 2004)

This is a good album. Well, it's better than good. If I had never heard the band before, I would be impressed with most of the songs on Modern Artillery. HOwever, it's hard not to be disappointed after Roll On.

Anonymous (March 10, 2004)

Great album. THE ROOM is an amazing song. Funny, I didn't know the album cover makes a album suck or not. I thought it was all about the music? In this case, album cover not the best, but musicly it's excellent. Just saw them live and they ROCKED!

Anonymous (March 10, 2004)

this album cover does look like something good charlotte would do. it also looks like something that the living end might do or have done in the past.

give these guys more credit.

Anonymous (March 10, 2004)

I agree with sickboi, i am a little disapointed with this, roll on was way better-oldpunker-

fakesmile (March 10, 2004)

i don't like this very much. it has some great songs, but still doesn't really do it for me. Roll On is their best album.

Eddie (March 9, 2004)

I'm very excited for this album. I've loved everything The Living End has done so far, and I look forward to picking it up.

Great review as well, adam.

Anonymous (March 9, 2004)

Living End fucking rules. Modern Artillery is so far for me, the best album of 2004. i can't stop listening to it.

Anonymous (March 9, 2004)

wow this album cover looks a lot like something Good Charlotte would do.

Anonymous (March 9, 2004)

the description of the music made me not want to hear it. blech.

-el vaquero

Anonymous (March 9, 2004)

Fuck this band>

adam (March 9, 2004)

'Tabloid Magazine' sounds a lot like 'Is She Really Going Out With Him' at times, so I'm not too suprised someone else heard that... but giving AMG's review a read it is pretty similar (well, that comment).


Anonymous (March 9, 2004)

not to be a dick but did you really listen to Tabloid Magazine and think Joe Jackson! or did you grab that from allmusic?

mikeinflames (March 9, 2004)

i like guttermouth
these guys sound nothing like guttermouth
therefore i like pancakes with syrup

Anonymous (March 9, 2004)

Modern Artillery is wicked, i love the new directio that they seem to be taking, I prefered they're self-titled to Roll On, and this has everything .

Anonymous (March 9, 2004)

I love these guys, this album is way stronger than Roll On, also an awesome disc

Anonymous (March 9, 2004)

great band, amazing album

Anonymous (March 9, 2004)

A bit too glossy compared to Roll On, but definitely better than 95% of the "punk rock" that comes out today.

t-rav (March 9, 2004)

Love em or hate em...you can't deny Chris Cheny's guitar capabilities....Imagine him and Brian Setzer dueling guitars for a track....wheeeew

and the S/T album is the best in my opinion.

greg6711 (March 9, 2004)

you really shouldn't praise a band base upon their reputation.

Making music this unoriginal should be a felony.

Anonymous (March 9, 2004)

This score is for the album cover. Absolutely horrendous.

Anonymous (March 9, 2004)

they changed their name back from billy talent?

inagreendase (March 9, 2004)

I doubt they ever top Roll On, but this is still a great album. Relies heavily on a singalong formula with very little instrumentals, but it works well. Plus, "The Room" has to be one of the best songs the band has done.

Anonymous (March 9, 2004)

After all the hype I heard, I still think "Roll On" was better.


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