White Noise review by The Living End

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Jul 21, 2008
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (55 votes)
The Living End: White Noise

Sound — 9
The Living End. Started off in the mid '90s, their unique blend of a broad range of musical genres have created a "bastard grandchild" of the Stray Cats, the Sex Pistols, The Beatles and The Clash. With this album, their 15 years of musical Nirvana has been reached with album number 5. Almost all elements that singer/guitarist Chris Cheney, double bassist Scott Owen and drummer Andy Strachan have strive to create have been reached, mixing Led Zeppelin-esque hardness with the bands own signature sound of Australian rock and roll. Ever since their first Self Titled album, the band has strive to broaden their horizons, with the next three albums attempting to catch their unparalleled live show. But now, with Rage Against The Machine producer John Agnello and the mixing capabilities of Brendan O'Brien-who before this album mixed the soon to be released AC/DC album-their mission=accomplished. Even with a serous breakup scare before the albums creation, the newly found sound has kept old and new fans begging for more.

Lyrics — 9
With Cheney's almost band-ending hiatus, the band has faced many a tragedy, but have now used this scare to their advantage. The more mature writing style adopted by Cheney have shades of seriousness mixed with strong thoughts yet also has hints of classic TLE. 01. How Do We Know - the Jack White/Jimmy Page riff that started the new 'flame'. The head-banging quality of this song is exquisite, with the lyrics complementing the desire to fight 'Til The End. 02. Raise The Alarm - songwriter-turned-philosopher Cheney expresses the arguments placed by religion, and provides an atheist/agnostic take on the matter. Could be played a little faster, but still a keeper. 03. White Noise - the first single highlights a more 'refined' sound of the band. With the lyrics providing questions of society today, the topic of hearing 'white noise' from everyone seems so real. 04. Moment In The Sun - with pop influences present, the lyrics provides a powerful message of breaking out while living in ones golden years while also providing it's listeners a smile. Piano parts by The Hold Steady's Franz Nicolay add a nice touch of inspiration. 05. Waiting For The Silence - pure TLE with a mix of simplistic yet heartfelt lyrics and meaningful feel. 06. Make The Call - very small hints of Maiden in the guitar work, but provides a perfect beat to jump around with. 07. Loaded Gun - possibly one of the top 10 Living End songs ever made. About the death of Jean Charles de Menezes after the London bombings, it highlights the problems in the law enforcement department and attacks the seneless 'collateral damage'. 08. Kid - the ultimate TLE pop song. So sweet the sugar sickens you. A bit too repetitive, but still a goodie. 09. 21st Century - a critical look upon the major events over the past years. Makes one ask "how the hell are we supposed to tell the kids?" 10. Hey Hey Disbeliever - another Maiden-influenced track. Simple tune mixed with tongue twister verses make up a solid song. 11. Sum Of Us - a completely unexpected reggae track, it somehow creates the perfect final song for the album. Lyrics provide a powerful message, and Owen's bass line is fitting to such a cool song.

Overall Impression — 10
Compared to their previous albums, it is somewhat a step away from the usual formula but also retains the hallmark TLE sound. Steering away from their S/T punkabilly sound, Roll On's complexity, Modern ARTillery's simplistic songs (except for The Room of course) and State Of Emergency's pop-punk sound, the album is an excellent addition to the bands repertoire. With this new album, the band has finally achieved what it was trying to do after S/T, and does it with flying colours. Although the 11 songs do create a break away from the traditional 14 songs, the album is all quality, not quantity, even after hearing some of their strongest B-sides. A definite keeper.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i think this is their best album to date, sure there are very memorable songs from other albums but this is a brilliant record. i bought the album knowing that it would be different, and its great. even the B-sides are brilliant. listen up suzy, CIA and beware the moon in particular. i dont see why people would think they are sell outs, because as it has been mentioned before a band doesnt stay the same forever, otherwise people would eventually get bored of it and no one new would listen to them. great songwriting by all of the guys and if anything the more 'pop punk' songs are very catchy.
    jason white
    i can honestly say this is the first living end album that i like from start to finish every song is great i never find myself pressing skip its great. sum of us is the best track by far its amazing
    Raise The Alarm sucks!if there's no God then we wouldn't exist at all..God gave Chris Cheney a gift to play the guitar.He's a really a good guitar player,it just saddens me to hear that song coz I really like this band & I know there's a God!
    Great band. The last TLE album I bought was State of Emergency. I heard the single, White Noise, I like it! Always love a band that continues to broaden their sound and TLE are great students of all types of music. Definately getting this album soon.
    Rising_sun91, it's fair for you to not like the album and post your review saying so. but saying you never thought the living end would use a chorus effect is ridiculous. what gives you the right to tell the living end to never use effects? and come on, back in the day, "all torn down" was based based on a riff with delay. is chorus all that worse than delay? i don't think so. and calling them sellouts? the living end have always been able to write a catchy song with a serious message, and i dont see how thats changed in any way at all on this album. read the lyrics of the album, read the lyrics of any of their other albums. difference? no. not liking an album is fine, but just because you don't like it does not give you the right to label a band who (as you can see by 99% of the comments on this page) have managed to make a strong rock record without compromising anything at all sellouts, and pop-punk bullshit.
    Their best album yet.... i like all their albums, but this has something that the others don't
    vincent82 wrote: Raise The Alarm sucks!if there's no God then we wouldn't exist at all..God gave Chris Cheney a gift to play the guitar.He's a really a good guitar player,it just saddens me to hear that song coz I really like this band & I know there's a God!
    just cos u believe that doesn't mean he has to, i don't wanna start a religious debate but u can't get upset cos somebody doesn't agree with ur beliefs, the lyrics on raise the alarm are some of the deepest and most thought provoking i've ever heard anywho, i really like this album, TLE have never disappointed me
    Hey! the lines about God doesn't mean that Chris don't believe in God in one interview he say that it was more about a hippie way of life where it doesn't matter the believes of everyone else we are all humans and we have to be treated as well. THE LIVING END & WHITE NOISE = Ones of the BEST EVER!