Shots have been fired. The Living End's seventh album, 'Shift,' is the hard-line sound of a band on the warpath. Pity the fool in its sights. The Living End has a history of tough talk. There have been riots, revolutions and resistance, and Chris Cheney, Scott Owen and Andy Strachan have never been afraid to break out the artillery. What makes Shift so different is the unflinching candour. 'Shift' is a first-person fight club.
"It's not a feel-good record," Cheney confirms, "but it's a good record. It's saying something isn't working, and sometimes the only way to fix it is to break it, then put it together again. As hard as it can be, the only way something changes is when something changes."
Since forming at high school and busking the streets of Melbourne, The Living End has gone to number one, had four platinum plus albums, been awarded APRA's Australian Song of the Year and scored six ARIA awards.
They've played world tours, ute musters, every festival everywhere and, in 2012, a 35-night Retrospective Tour, performing their entire back catalogue in five cities – a feat that would make anyone murderous.
But no band survives all that without experiencing a seismic shift, and when the trio congregated on Melbourne's Red Door Sounds, the changes that needed to happen became apparent.
Whatever had gone on before with The Living End didn't apply now. Every idea and sound was to be warped beyond recognition.
Cheney says Shift is no random collection of songs. "It's a record. A document. It's 11 songs about old friends and new enemies, of triumphs, mistakes, greed and regrets, warts and all."