The Living End Reviews
Cubic Feet’s new album The Living End then and now is, well, the living end. Imagination, creativity, quality, great tunes and all of the things we love about music are neatly folded into this double CD package.
There are 21 songs split between the two CDs. Yes, there’s great music. But what really sets this album apart is, literally, then and now.
I love interpretation. One of the things I really enjoyed about The Living End then and now is it gives you the freedom to interpret its meaning. With that thought in mind, what follows is my interpretation of The Living End then and now.
Then (disc 1) features thirteen tracks from 1991-2001. They are seeking the heart.
Now (disc 2) introduces eight new and unreleased tracks. Now they are seeking the truth. The lyrics to all eight songs are printed on the CD insert.
The music is deep. The overall theme is that you toughen up from life’s joys and sorrows. Once you thought you couldn’t go on.
Now you not only go on, you do it with passion. Blackheart speaks to this change.
The comparison between Hard On You and So You Wanna Be Friends shows an evolution of the realization that unrequited or changed love affects both people. Heartache doesn’t occur in a vacuum. There is a reflection of hard-earned maturity when lyrics are juxtaposed from then to now.
A life experience is learned from 19 Again. As the aphorism goes, “No matter where you go, there you are.” Sooner or later you’ve gone through enough to know what matters most. Society will always say to get a job, buy a house, drive a new car and forever strive to make everything in your life bigger, better and faster. 19 Again makes the point that much of this is nothing more than background noise to life and can be ignored. Go back to when you were young and look at the things you did then for pleasure and fulfillment. Be that person. Grasp a wild ride for what it is, rather than seeing everything as a step toward something else. Try on the 19-year-old you to see if the suit fits. You just might find something worth reliving.
There really aren’t enough superlatives to describe the treasures held within these two CDs. Everything from the music to the production to the artwork is outstanding. Greatness truly does come in small packages.
Interpretation? I wonder what yours will be…
Cubic Feet Hits Redone
I have to admit that I’d never heard the music of Cubic Feet before their album reached my desk. I did know that they were a highly rated indie band back in the ‘90’s. The band’s last album was released on 9/11.
I had heard of singer / songwriter Mark Davidson. In fact, I reviewed the debut album of his band, Nuke The Soup. Mark was one of the two anchor members of Cubic Feet. The other anchor member was guitarist / keyboardist Woody Lissaur. Most of the group’s material was produced by Pete Solley, who’s also worked with both Oingo Boingo and The Romantics.
The album that I mentioned above actually has two discs. The first disc contains thirteen songs that were culled from the four albums that the band put out during their prime. The second disc contains eight songs that never got placed on the radio or on an album. This two disc collection is called The Living End: Then And Now. It is being released on the Meteor Records label.
Save The World is first up on the first disc. It is a fun, lyrical piece with toe tapping music and fluid vocals.
Across The River is next. The song is a mellow rock ballad.
I really liked the guitar and key work in the smile effecting song, In My Room. This song almost harks back to a ‘60’s kind of pop rock styling.
So You Want To Be Friends is kind of like The Knack lite.
Hold On Me is a nice love ballad.
Stuck into the middle of the album is cool, moderately paced rock anthem called Monkey.
That’s followed by the nice acoustic guitar based tune, Lighter.
‘90’s Pop abounds in Spinning ‘Round.
There is an almost British Invasion influence in the song Ridiculous.
Bitter Pill brings things back to the ‘90’s rock scene.
The Romantics influence might just be heard a bit in Natasha.
Not quite done with songs that have girl’s names, there is a tough, moody rock ballad called Caroline.
The last song on the first disc is the light and easy Sweetest Thing.
The second disc begins with an acoustic guitar and keys laden mellow tune called Living End.
Cool, laid back toe-tapping music can be found Hard On You.
Blackheart begins with a kind of dark rock anthem sound then slides into a moderate pop rock anthem mode.
Light head bopping rock music is in Colored Glasses.
Fun music and light hearted vocals are in Counting.
19 Again has the singer reverting back to an earlier time in his life. The song has a bit of dark guitar base in a kind of slight rock anthem tone.
Moving back to the toe tapping scene, there is Brand New Day.
The second disc ends with a nice acoustic guitar laden tune called Tumblin’ Down.
With all of the nostalgic resurgence of 80’s and ‘90’s bands, it makes sense that some of them would be re-issuing music. The repackaging of old songs and adding others that new made the airwaves make The Living End: Then And Now a great collection. Not only do Cubic Feet fans get a nice crosssection of the group’s music, they get to listen to songs they had never heard before. And listeners who’ve never heard Cubic Feet before will be in for a nice treat.
The Living End: Now And Then is out in stores now and available online
– Bruce Von Stiers
Cubic Feet have an interesting story. This popular 80’s band were making waves with several releases under their belt. Then their fourth album, “Superconnector” was released on Sept 11, 2001. The one day when our world changed as we knew it and music was the last thing on everyone’s mind.
Now ten years later Cubic Feet is back with a double disc release of, ´The Living End: Then and Now”. The CD is celebrating some old tunes and surprising us with some new ones too. The second CD has 8 new tunes never heard before. They have definitely grown over the years. I am impressed with the strong lyrical content; celebrating life and screaming for us to let go of the little stuff.
This duo consisting of Mark Davison and Woody Lissauer are back at it with their signature energetic sound. They still have tight harmonies and blend so well together you almost forget you are listening to two voices. The tunes take you back to the Bryan Ferry era and drive home some positive messages. Exactly what the doctor ordered in our current economic woes.
These tunes are up tempo bouncing concoctions that invade your body and usually ends in dancing uncontrollably. Might as well give up trying not to let it take over, it is a futile effort. Give up and give in. Cubic Feet are here to entertain, your job is to sit back and enjoy. It is always refreshing to find a band that really likes what they do and you can feel it when you hear it. This is one of those bands. Let the toe tapping commence.
– Rebecca Hosking