Music Feeds’ Love Letter to a Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with the music they love and share stories of how it has influenced their lives. Here Benjamin Knox, drummer of Sydney alternative metal band Reliqa, raises his glass to Modern Artillery (2003) by The Living End.
The name Reliqa was a mystery to many before the alternative metal band’s recent appearance on the Monolith festival tour, with Karnivool and Cog headlining. But by the time the tour ended, Reliqa, a quartet from Sydney led by singer Monique Pym, were on the playlists of heavy music fans across the country. The band’s latest EP, I don’t know what I am is out now.
Love letter from Reliqa to The Living End Modern artillery
I first heard Modern artillery by The Living End when I was six. It was 2007. My dad had a collection of CDs that went in and out of the family car, so the music rotation normally consisted of a variety of jazz and blues records. One day Modern artillery was in the car ride rotation and was instantly hooked.
The combination of catchy vocals, tasteful guitar work, and a super tight rhythm section had me listening on repeat. This album will always bring back memories of spending time with my family as a kid, rolling around in the backseat, asking “Who’s gonna save us?” My love for this album also made The Living End my first gig – I had the pleasure of seeing them in 2008 at the Enmore Theatre.
This album certainly influenced my musical tastes and drumming style from an early age. I was learning drums during my obsession with this album. I found rock drumming to be a lot of fun to play, which sparked my overall enjoyment of playing drums. Drum work on Modern artillery is very engaging all the time, which definitely brought me closer to the album.
I didn’t take drum lessons, so practicing drums for me was just playing along to songs that I really liked. “Tabloid Magazine” is the first song I remember learning. I would later switch from rock to metal, like Slipknot’s ‘Psychosocial’ and Avenged Sevenfold’s ‘Nightmare’.
The Living End – ‘Tabloid Magazine’
There’s not a single wrong track on Modern artillery, with each song offering something very different from the next. Tracks such as “Tabloid Magazine” and “Who’s Gonna Save Us?” are uplifting rock songs – groovy riffs, catchy choruses, tight drumming with interesting fillers. These two songs were my favorites during my childhood. I’ll always remember jamming to “Tabloid Magazine” as a kid shouting, “It’s just a tabloid magazine,” before entering the song’s final four-beat snare section.
‘The End Of The World’ has a darker, more chaotic style, with a very interesting song structure. It begins on a double beat with wild lead guitar and Chris Cheney’s belt, “Last night I had a dream son / The end of the world could be seen.” I remember being lost in the fall in tempo, followed by a gradual increase in tempo. Overall, the musicality of this song is on another level.
Modern artillery was a very influential album for me, both in my musical taste and in my drumming style. I got very attached to rock drumming from an early age through this album, which eventually evolved into heavier music and more technical drumming styles. It’s a masterpiece.
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