A graduate of both Seton Hall and Notre Dame, Ted Leo could be the smartest punker you know, unless you get down with Greg Graffin or Milo Auckerman. With years of performing in various NYC/D.C. outfits such as Animal Crackers, Citizens Arrest, and Chisel, Leo and the Rx defy the stereotype often slapped across the face of punk rock, by prescribing fearless, crisp, and thoughtful anthems that help shape this world into something worth caring about.
Living With The Living, the fifth album from Leo and his gang of Pharmacists, who now operate out of Chicago's Touch and Go hospital, is an explosive assortment of anti-war sentiment which demands like hell for an immediate ceasefire to this unjust war, and the next. Such displeasure for the current administration is apparent on almost every audio grenade launched from the fifteen track arsenal, including "Bomb. Repeat. Bomb," the scathing rant with repeat chant of death wishes and "Army Bound," with tearjerk lyrics like 'in every cradle there's a grave now.' And just after you are ready to throw a molotov cocktail at the White House library, "The Lost Brigade" funks up the revenge fantasy with a snazzy whiff of freakdisco. Emotional humans do not fret, as there are sappy luv songs for you to melt your face into. "Colleen" is a sweet tale of a girl who aspired to be more than she ended up becoming and although I have no idea what the hell a "Bottle Of Buckie" is, my belly knows that I want to drink some, and now. Same thing with "La Costa Brava," I'm not sure where it is but I'll go anywhere with Ted Leo. There isn't a phony bone in his vegan body. His voice is distinct and dangerous. Ted Leo is our generation's most exciting protest singer.