THE LIVING END with the CHEAP SUITS at the Opera House (735 Queen East), Friday (March 16). $10. 416-463-0313.
You wouldn't know it from the mod-punk look the Living End have adopted for their latest disc, Roll On (Reprise/Warner). But before the energetic Aussie trio were outfitted in Fred Perry shirts, skinny ties and porkpie hats, they were rockabilly rebels. As part of their rockers-to-mods image makeover, the signature Gretsch Chet Atkins twang of guitarist Chris Cheney has taken on an Offspringish crunch, while his vocals have been tweaked into Billie Joe territory. Whatever sells.
But as long as his childhood pal Scott Owen continues thumping away at his upright bass, the Living End will always have a little rock-and-roll chug to their rhythm.
"Our background is playing 50s music," explains Owen from a stop in Seattle. "Originally, we were just singing about hot rods and girls.
"We discovered the Stray Cats around 91, and there was really something different and exciting about the kind of music they were playing. It wasn't what all the other kids at school were listening to, but it sounded cool to us. Pretty much all we listened to in high school was rockabilly.
"From there it was a natural progression to punk. Both styles of music share the same rebellious attitude, and many of the early punk bands drew on 50s influences as well."teds turn punk