The Living End
White Noise


4.5
superb

Review

by Douchebag USER (6 Reviews)
January 19th, 2009 | 93 replies | 9,722 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Living End return with what is arguably their best album since their debut.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

White Noise - The Living End

Chris Cheney - Guitars, vocals
Scott Owen - Upright Bass, Backing vocals
Andy Strachan - Drums, Backing vocals


If I had to use one word to describe the album White Noise, 'Solid' would be the word that first comes to mind. Looking at all the albums released by the band, White Noise is easily the most solid. It consists of simply 11 tracks, no filler and none of the songs over stay their welcome. Every song stands out from the pack and can stand strong on its own merit. To put it clear, The Living End have created a near perfect slab of rock that is arguably their best effort since the self titled released all those years ago.

The album starts of the same way as all good rock albums' start. The opener 'How do we know' contains a very memorable riff that catches the listener as soon as it starts, and doesn't let go until the song finishes. The song keeps your attention until it unleashes it's very catchy chorus complete with lead and backing vocals. The song has been described as the best on the album by many people, however saying it is the only song worth listening to couldn't be more further from the truth. While I personally believe it is a brilliant opener, 'How do we know' is not my favourite cut from the album.

After the energetic 'Raise the alarm' (a number reminiscent of Second Solution, and my personal favourite from the album), the album takes a slower approach than the first two tracks. 'White Noise' is as close as the band have ever come to penning a ballad. Its heartfelt lyrics and poppy elements make it the signature single of the album. 'Moment in the sun' and 'Waiting for the silence' keep the pop mind set firmly in place and again both have a slower tempo than the opening tracks. This isn't a complaint as all 3 slower numbers give the whole album an identity and structure that works very well, almost a time to chill down after the first two tracks.

It's this structure that makes for an enjoyable listen. Whether it was intentional or not remains to be seen, the fact is that every song runs so fluently with each other and the heavier and slower songs are arranged in perfect order. 'Make The Call' kills the entire slow mood with one of the band's heaviest riffs that wouldn't sound out of place on a Black Sabbath record. This song is easily a highlight as everything just clicks, from the instruments, vocals and chorus. The entire album takes a similar approach with the remaining songs being a frenzy of riffs and catchy melodies, save one or two songs such as the retro pop song 'Kid' and the albums Ska influence closer 'Sum of Us'.

Guitar work has always been important to The Living End and this album confirms Chris's status as THE aussie guitarist. His solo's on this album are much shorter, but so much sweeter. He spends less time mucking around and instead just gets to the point, giving the songs the extra flair they need. However if this makes him sound like he is becoming lazy, you would be dead wrong! Songs like the intro to 'Loaded Gun', the solo of '21st Century' and the funky licks in 'Sum of Us' show that he is being more creative than ever with his choice of licks, notes and scales.

The lyrics don't stray too far from familiar territory. 'Raise the alarm' deals with the clash of religion and morals, 'Loaded Gun' deals with the shooting of an innocent boy after the London bombs and '21st Century' deals with you guessed it, the modern world around us. Whilst the lyrics are not bad, it has always been about the delivery with these guys and they don't disappoint. Every song has at least one vocal hook that will suck you in, and you may just find yourself humming a few of the tunes at school or at work for a few months. Whether it is a fist in the air chorus, or just a good old fashioned tune, every song on the album delivers.

But alas, no album is perfect and this one is no exception. At only 11 songs the album feels a touch too short. At least 2 more songs wouldn't be asking much, and from hearing the B-sides they wouldn't have interrupted the flow at all. I also feel that the song 'Kid' doesn't stack up against the other songs although it gets the job done. These of course are minor complaints and I feel I am nitpicking at what is a near flawless modern day rock record. Every member brings something new to the table. The drum sound is brilliant, and whilst there isn't double kick/thrash drums galore, Andy gets the job done bashing the beats behind the double bass and spotlight stealing guitar work.

In conclusion, I simply cannot recommend this album enough. In an age where the majority of mainstream releases feature 2 - 4 strong singles mixed with filler tracks, this album is a huge breathe of fresh air. The boys should be proud of this release, and it stands tall in their already impressive back catalogue..

Pros
(+) Catchy whilst still remaining fresh and original, No filler
(+) Some great riffs, drumming and lead guitar work
(+) Doesn't lose its appeal over time.
(+) Solid, flows really well

Cons

(-) Feels a bit short
(-) Shorter guitar solo's may put off long time fans
(-) The double bass is not as high in the mix as previous albums.



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user ratings (70)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Douchebag
January 19th 2009



3624 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Phew, hope this doesn't seem rushed. We really needed a review up here.

jingledeath
January 19th 2009



7104 Comments


I have State Of Emergency but haven't given it a listen yet.
I'll definitely get this if I like that one.

Vooligan
January 19th 2009



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good stuff, love how do we know.

Jim
January 19th 2009



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

never got around to getting this
strange because state of emergency was really good. i think my interest in them has waned in the last few years

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2009



20830 Comments


Great stuff Alligator. I really like your down to earth & easy to read writing style. This review was another ripper as you pretty much touched on everything that one needs to know about a Living End album. The only thing I was waiting for and didn't really come until the dot points was more detailed explanation regarding the double bass.
One other nitpick is to try & exclude "i" & "my". There will be times when it will be better to use them, buit in the instance of your 2nd paragraph here, you could have gone with "While it is a brilliant opener, 'How do we know' is not the best cut from the album."
Overall, a very good review & worthy of a pos.
As for the album itself, I have it but am yet to hear it. Your review made me prioritise it because I am a sucker for an album with no filler and potentially every song being a single.

mutatedfreek
January 19th 2009



7351 Comments


Hey dude great review especially for a second, you've taken all the good points from your first and put them together nicely with an easy to read writing style. I have a couple of criticisms though, firstly I agree with everything Davey said before me, too much I and my and the double bass explanation. Anther thing I learned is that dot points aren't really necessary, and in fact encourage users to not read your review and go straight to the summation as it were. Try to make sure each and every point is elaborated and explained in full, and there will be no need for the points, making for a better structure. Whether you decide to take these to heart or not is your decision, as I said before it is a good review and worthy of a pos.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2009



20830 Comments


^^^ Hey yeah, I never thought of that re: the Pros & Cons section... There has definitely been a few times in poorer reviews where I have jumped straight to the dot points at the end. Well pointed out Ross. You should try writing a review yourself some day. ;-)

mutatedfreek
January 19th 2009



7351 Comments


Cheese is a kind of meat, a tasty yellow treat...This Message Edited On 01.19.09

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2009



20830 Comments


I may sit here for a few hours staring at the screen thinking about this riddle. Is the answer 'Hysteria'?

mutatedfreek
January 19th 2009



7351 Comments


Yeah yeah man, I'll be doin' reviews when I have time, next will be Franz, and I cannae review that until I've heard it can I?
Anyway, I gave you people a stop gap in my Foals review did I not :-) so stop the whining boyo.

Edit: Davey, its no riddle, just a Mighty Boosh quote, the answer can be Hysteria if you like though. Didn't even write the quote
correctly come to think of it, sure the second line should end in "beef", not "treat"This Message Edited On 01.19.09

Spare
January 19th 2009



5223 Comments


In my opinion, this album has the most filler of all TLE's albums (I haven't heard Modern ARTillery though). It also has some of TLE's best ever songs, but is still dragged down by a lot of, uh... averageness?

Also good review.This Message Edited On 01.19.09

PayneTiger777
January 19th 2009



4368 Comments


Hmmm, this sounds quite interesting.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2009



20830 Comments


Ahhh, The Mighty Boosh, a show which I am unfortunately not familiar with.
Oh alright, I will stop my whining... For now!

Douchebag
January 19th 2009



3624 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Cheers for the feedback. I'll be honest, I was unsure about the pro's and con's so thanks for telling me about it. If it's not obvious, I really like this CD.

As for you DaveyBoy, I order you to march out down the street and buy series 1 and 2 of the mighty boosh (3 not so great), and enjoy and quote the show to your hearts content.

mutatedfreek
January 19th 2009



7351 Comments


Thats OK, a few changes and this will be a very good review indeed.

Douchebag
January 19th 2009



3624 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

looking foward to your franz review. I'm interested in hearing that album in the hope it will match the 1st album.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2009



20830 Comments


Hold back on the orders there Mr. Gator. By the way, being Aussie, shouldn't you be a crocodile...???

Vooligan
January 19th 2009



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

being Aussie, shouldn't you be a crocodile...???

Exactly what i was thinking!

Douchebag
January 19th 2009



3624 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

True! I shall now unleash the story of this name.
basically I was having a hard time thinking of a name, so I put Windows media player on random and the song 'Alligator' by 'Foxboro Hot Tubs' came on and I figured that it was a short and simple name, untill about half an hour later I realised Australia has no Alligators!

Spare
January 19th 2009



5223 Comments


Everyone seems to likes this a lot. Hmm. I may review it some time. Or maybe I'll give it a few more listens.

Again, very nice review. You're super.



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