The Living End

The Living End Announce New Album

The Living End will release their new album, Wunderbar, on September 28th. Pre-orders are now up.

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Track Listing

  1. Don’t Lose It
  2. Not Like The Other Boys
  3. Otherside
  4. Death of The American Dream
  5. Drop The Needle
  6. Love Won’t Wait
  7. Proton Pill
  8. Amsterdam
  9. Too Young To Die
  10. Wake Up The Vampires
  11. Rat In A Trap
Wunderbar, The Living End’s eighth album, came together faster than any album the band has ever made. After deciding to write and record a new LP in September 2017, the band booked recording and preproduction sessions in Berlin, Germany, for January 2018, giving them four months to write an entire record. “We had limited time to write,” recalls Cheney. “We were freaked out by it at first but it turned into a good thing because it meant full steam ahead.” And full steam ahead they went: from its initial, harebrained conception, The Living End ended up writing one of the most raw, conscious, and politically vital albums of their career. Some artists can’t work under pressure; The Living End, it seems, thrive on it.

Living in a space with no heating, Cheney, Owen and Strachan felt the brunt of Berlin’s icy winters. But if the band hadn’t been pulled out of their comfort zone, there’s no way they would have been able to put together a record like Wunderbar. “Berlin’s such an amazing place,” Owen said. “There’s no better place in the world for rock and roll bands to make dirty, gritty rock and roll music.” Decamping to the city where icons like Iggy and Bowie and Eno was a huge inspiration for the band, and helped tap into the same punk spirit that initially made them so famous.

This punk spirit is encapsulated in “Don’t Lose It”, the album’s pummeling, driving lead single. Built around iconic Cheney pearls like “It only takes one split decision/ To end up in a head on collision,” “Don’t Lose It” is a portrait of The Living End as they are in 2018: fiercely proficient, proudly rebellious, and emotionally resonant. Elsewhere, subtle shifts mark exhilarating new ground for The Living End. “Otherside,” a tale of jealousy and ambition, is slyly melodic, an anthem through and through. “The grass is always greener,” says Strachan of the track. “But sometimes you have to stop to look at what you have. You soon realize that things could be much worse.” It’s the kind of lyrical nuance that the band has become so good at over the years, and which they perfect on Wunderbar.

The album’s tenor is encapsulated in “D.E.A.T.H.,” Wunderbar’s best and most political song. It doesn’t sound like anything else – it’s The Living End through and through, and feels like the kind of song Cheney was born to write. “After having lived in the States for almost seven years, I felt sympathetic towards them,” he says. “It’s become a bit of a laughing stock. The Cadillac broke down.” “D.E.A.T.H.” isn’t your typical ‘Fuck Trump’ anthem though; it’s also a love letter to what the country used to be, and what it could be. What begins as a rousing, scream-along anthem – with backing vocals from Die Toten Hosen, Germany’s biggest rock band, too – ends as a raw, acoustic ballad, lamenting the death of the American Dream.

It’s moments like these that show Cheney’s depth as a songwriter, and how far he’s come since writing songs like “Prisoner of Society” all those years ago. It’s a perfect representation of The Living End in 2018. Some bands grow old, and make ‘dad rock’. Some bands fizzle and die out. The Living End, however, are only just getting started.

Jason Tate
Jason Tate Jason Tate is the founder and editor-in-chief of chorus.fm. He can also be found at @jason_tate on Twitter and on Facebook.