I love the Living End or at least I used to love the Living End Now I like them a lot but wish they’d regain the early highs. Listen Chris Chaney is one awesome guitarist and the band are always excellent live, the last time I caught them was supporting Green Day and these cats stole the show that day hitting hit after hit out of the park with so much energy it was a joy to see. Prior to that the Living End did a warm-up show in my town many moons ago and it was a small club that was barely half full and that night they were incredible but, and it’s a big but. The last couple of studio albums were missing that bit of magic that spark That killer song you know the couple of classic Living End tunes that littered earlier recordings so forgive me for entering ‘Wunderbar’ with more than a hint of trepidation.
as I dropped the needle and listened to the first play a little like the scream painting by Edvard Munch but hey ‘Don’t Lose It’ sees my hands drop and that fear ebb away as this is more like it. The Living End have a fire in their bellies again and a great opening tune that sounds pretty bloody decent goes a long way to help that.
So with a great heartening opener under their belt ‘Not Like The Other Boys’ is a little more laid back and commercial but it’s still better than anything on the last album or two easily. By the time we reach the rapid pounder of ‘Death Of The American Dream’ the Living End I know and love are in the house and the salamander stick slap in the breakdown is excellent as are the lyrics. Superb.
Like a magpie, the band pick pieces from here and there and throw them in the pot that gives them their identity and when ‘Death Of The American Dream’ fades through the final lament I’m really enjoying this record. Wherever their mojo was it’s back and I can easily grow to like their more commercial edge like ‘Drop The Needle’ when its bookended with such quality.
Damn ‘Proton Pill’ is a blast and the band goes for it maybe I’ve been unfair on the band and I should revisit the last two albums but not until I’ve given ‘Wunderbar’ a lot more love. ‘Amsterdam’ might seem a strange song to pick for the second single from the album seeing as there aren’t any bass or drums on the song but a fantastic melancholic ode a fine city it is.
To be honest with you I’ve really enjoyed ‘Wunderbar’ and if you have ever been a fan then check it out Sure it might not be the best record they’ve ever made but it is definitely a return to form and a band that has a fire and passion in their heart and from top to bottom this is a rock n roll solid album and I’d give it both thumbs up no question.