The Beatsteaks may have delivered some charged and energetic material in the past, but Living Targets comes barreling out of the gates from moment one and tries its damnedest to never let up. The material here has a sense of urgency that complements the fast-paced songs and enhances the slower material. Hard-rockers like "Let Me In" are played with a powerful grasp of melody and structure, adding a weight to the lyrics that is often missing from their contemporaries. The twisted, angular crawl of "Disconnected" is a perfect example of their effective approach: The song is slow and quiet, but the delivery gives it a creepy edge that makes the guitar-drenched chorus drip with emotion. Nothing here is any different from a hundred like-minded punk albums, but the band adds an element that transcends the usual meaningless pop spat out by indie punk bands. Between the catchy songs, excellent production, and impressive performances, the Beatsteaks managed to pull together a great punk album that avoids the usual trappings of the genre and delivers a compact collection of vibrant, important music. Living Targets is a hidden gem, but those lucky enough to discover it can expect a testament to the power of straight-ahead punk.
AllMusic Review by Bradley Torreano