Album Review
The Living End - State of Emergency Album Cover

The Living End - State of Emergency

Reviewed by
The Living End - State of Emergency
Release Date: February 7, 2006 [Overseas] / July 11, 2006 [US]
Record Label: EMI Australia [Overseas] / Adeline Records [US]

Produced by the masterful Nick Launay (Silverchair, INXS, Gang of Four), State of Emergency is quite the fourth album from The Living End. After the success of their Mark Trombino-produced third album, Modern Artillery (2003), the band took the overwhelming sheen from that CD, pared it down to simply a dull roar, and unleashed the aggression that seemed to be missing on their last album on State of Emergency. As a finished product, we the listeners get a CD packed with gritty post-punk and no bullshit to be found.

Put simply, the first half of the disc is nothing short of masterful. From the Pink Floyd-inspired single, “Wake Up” to the bouncing sing-along “We Want More,” The Living End has brought the goods. Tight hooks, energetic vocals, and that endearing post-punk sound that have always made the band such a pleasure to listen to are all focal points on the new disc. This is most definitely their most focused album to date both musically and vocally as a result. It seems like they made this album as much for themselves as for their fans. Often on State of Emergency the band completely lets loose and rocks out in an instrumental bridge. Squealing guitars, brooding bass lines, and Chris Cheney’s versatile vocals make it stand head and shoulders above anything else released thus far in 2006.

“Nothing Lasts Forever” is a charming ballad that probably lasts a bit too long (and ultimately the infectiously brooding chorus grows repetitive), but it holds down the transition between the album’s halves extremely well. Perhaps the title even alludes to the listener’s sadness as the album draws to a close seven tracks later. While some of the later songs may be less memorable as single material, they’re still insanely catchy post-punk with a few diamonds in the rough (“Black Cat” is a notable one). The title track sounds like it would fit in perfectly as an amazing Modern Artillery b-side (it’s a bit too dark for that album) that perfectly tightens the focus of the new CD.

There are still some areas that keep The Living End from scoring perfect tens, but it’s so far the most intelligent, technically solid album in any genre to be released in 2006, and will continue to be among my “most played” list for the foreseeable future. Old fans should have no trouble finding State of Emergency up to their standards, and new fans should be able to latch onto the emotionally appealing music that the band has made this time around. This is definitely the band’s best release of their career, and The Living End have shown they certainly have a brilliant future ahead of them.

Recommended if you like anything between The Clash and the Offspring with lyrics nothing short of excellent.

Buy The Living End's State of Emergency on iTunes
This review is a user submitted review from Tony Pascarella. You can see all of Tony Pascarella's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 24
07:39 PM on 02/14/06
Jason Tate
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Jason Tate's Avatar
I concur 100%. Well done Tony. That's a better written review then I would have been able to write.
07:44 PM on 02/14/06
Chickens don't clap!
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fedhed7's Avatar
Excellent review.
07:54 PM on 02/14/06
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reductiondesign's Avatar
I want this SO bad.
07:56 PM on 02/14/06
Registered User
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DemolitionLover's Avatar
I love this band.

I just got this CD in the mail yesterday, and it's still growing on me. Is it just me or are they underrated here in the US? Definately one of the best live bands I have ever seen, they are all amazing at their instruments. You don't see enough stand up bass these days.
07:59 PM on 02/14/06
Tony Pascarella
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Tony Pascarella's Avatar
Originally Posted by DemolitionLover
I love this band.

I just got this CD in the mail yesterday, and it's still growing on me. Is it just me or are they underrated here in the US? Definately one of the best live bands I have ever seen, they are all amazing at their instruments. You don't see enough stand up bass these days.

TLE is so underrated here. It's not even funny. They tear up Australia every time they release something, so I hope them being on Warped this year helps their popularity here. I would kill to have this CD released here and on top of that, do extremely well.
08:05 PM on 02/14/06
btbam > you
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btbam > you's Avatar
i just got it today and im listening to it for the first time right now. their self-titled record is one of my top ten albums ever. i love this band
08:31 PM on 02/14/06
In awe of the size of the moon
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KidLightning's Avatar
i feel like i haven't given this album enough of a chance...to me nothing they have put out has lived up to their self-titled and maybe it's just because that's one of the cds that got me into this genre of music and also reminds me of a damn good time of my life (the beginning of the end of high school)

at any rate, that was a really well written review and i will definitiley give this a spin on the old ipod on the way to school again tomorrow...but when i first listened to it, it just kinda bored me to be honest...hopefully the brilliance you're hearing will shine through
08:36 PM on 02/14/06
The World Won't Listen.
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GoWaitInTheCar's Avatar
I dig this band.

This cd is no exception.
08:49 PM on 02/14/06
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No Avatar Selected
which track was worked on with Tim Armstrong?
09:43 PM on 02/14/06
Registered User
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to get the cd at a fair price, I posted in the forum:
i found this offer at Cdwow for the living ends new limited ed cd/dvd album, They ship free worldwide, this links automatically takes AUS$2 off everthing on the site


also you can get a further AUS$2 off if you get a voucher from this link


So basically you can get the AUS$4 off the album, and can get it for AUS $21

Its the cheapest anywhere online, and normally would cost you about AUS$35 ordering from most aussie online stores
10:45 PM on 02/14/06
is APPLEcore
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DaveHallow's Avatar
This album went to No. 1 first week on sale here in Australia.
11:56 PM on 02/14/06
Good Day Sunshine
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monkeyboy14's Avatar
This release may actually win them the mainstream success that they deserve. They are always a big drawcard at festivals but the strength of this album, in particularly the singles will deliver them to the masses. Personally, it doesn't top the S/T album for me. That album is just brilliant. It may be in my top 5, definitely top 10 records of all time. SOE comes close but it doesn't have the instrumental brilliance and working man's emotion of the first record.

Good review by the way Tony. Nice work as always
01:08 AM on 02/15/06
Registered User
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HeadSock's Avatar
Definitely one of the more consistent bands out there. I cant wait to get my hands on this. Great review.
03:19 AM on 02/15/06
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swizzle's Avatar
think i might have to order the album now thanks to the review

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