Sound — 9
It was 12 years ago in 1994 when The Living End first emerged in the Australian rock music scene. Their debut self titled album reached number one on the charts, and is still the highest-selling debut rock album in Australian music history. Now The Living End has released their 4th studio album, entitled 'State of Emergency.' The band is most well known for their mind-blowing live performances. Singer/guitarist Chris Cheney wanted to incorporate The Living End's awesome live sound into this record after his disappointment with the 'over-producing' of his last album, 'Modern Artillery.' The live sound that made the famed the band wasn't incorporated into the album as much as Cheney would have like it to, but this hasn't taken away from them producing another utterly awesome, hit spewing album! As I put the recently purchased disk in my CD player I'm in humble excitement as the first note plays at the start of track 1, 'Tll The End.' It already sounds like a killer live song. A very self explanatory song about basically, not giving up. With no time for a breather, 'Long Live The Weekend' kicks in right away. A catchier, more fun song that also sounds very live oriented. By now I've realized the songs production sounds a lot like the Til the End. I'm not a big fan of the sound of the guitar, but the sound is still fine. The first slower paced song on the album, 'No Way Out,' seems like a fairly experimental song, drawing some influence from the Beatles in the use of some of the vocals and the sound of the verses. Chris's voice sounds great on this song, his vocal ability continue to increase. This is expressed on the chorus. You'd usually follow a slower song with another slow song, but not in this case. 'We Want More' rapidly comes in and punches you in the face when it gets there. Another fast, catchy song that would for sure make a great, popular single is playing on my CD player. I'm tempted not to get out of my chair and start dancing to this song. Ok, the song most people have probably heard, the fantastic 'Wake Up.' A political song about the state of the nation, Wake up is an innovative song with a chorus that sounds shivers down my spine every time! The guitar, the lyrics, the drums, it all fits in perfectly with this song, and will most likely be stuck in my head even when I finish writing this review. I think this band likes following slow songs with super fast ones, cause the next track, 'What's on Your Radio? ' comes in at lightning speed. This is a song about the state of the radio and how the songs being played are 'fashionable,' people listen to it because it's popular. It's obvious that this was the first single released from the album, It's just so good. Chris's solo is amazing on this song. 'Nothing Last's Forever' is a very pop sounding song about a tale of love gone wrong. Much calmer than the other songs, it lets you lie back and just simply listen to what's being played. It's songs like this we don't hear much of from The Living End. and the saying is true, different is good. Again, a slower song is followed by a fast song. The slower song, 'One Step Behind, ' featuring a horns section from 'Hunters And Collectors', is followed by the trademark quick and breathtaking style Living End song, 'Reborn.' The next songs, 'Order of the Day' and 'Nowhere Town' are both high-quality, catchy songs, although I prefer Nowhere Town because of some of the effects used in Order of the Day. Effects put on vocals annoy me a little bit, they also take away from the live sound we know and love about Living End. To finish the album, we have 3 fast, energetic, awesome songs. 'State Of Emergency' is Chris's guitar 'show-off' song, with the great solos and complexness. The music to 'Black Cat' is written by bassist Scott Owen. He spends hours in a studio, playing bass guitar trying to figure out a good bass line for a song. He came up with the bass line used in this song, which is very simple. It just show's that good things take time, and good things are often based around simplicity. The final track, 'Into The Red' is just a straight out, simple rock song with a very live, raw sound to it.
Lyrics — 8
Chris's lyrics get better and better, but still aren't necissarily 'superb' lyrics. They're just simple lyrics that go very well with the songs.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this album is fantastic. It's almost like a blend of the albums made prior to this one, with some completely new things added in too. The album outdoes anything The Living End has done before. It's obvious why they are proud of it.