Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Living End

  • The Living End [Reprise, 1999] Dud
  • Roll On [Reprise, 2001] C

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Living End [Reprise, 1999] Dud

Roll On [Reprise, 2001]
So whatever happened to that Clash-sounding '80s band from Switzerland, I forget their name? Right now I wish I knew. Presumably they didn't turn into an Alarm-acting '00s band from Australia, because these Melbourne laddies are Young, you bet, and also Indigenous in their Anglo-Saxon way, imbued with "the Rose Tattoo and AC/DC [in their rock dreams--ed.] and the Angels." Notice they don't mention INXS or Midnight Oil, relevant in their unfettered ambition and feckless idealism, respectively. Nor is the latter anything to write Stone about. Of the approximately four political songs, only the immigration-keyed "Don't Shut the Gate" is effective even artistically, and the antiunion tack of the opener, however well justified by specifics, is a bad sign. It's no fun to point out that dumb bands give agitprop a bad name. But they do. C