Believe it or not, although difficult to imagine so now, Post-Grunge was a big thing in 1990s the following of Kurt Cobain’s death back in 1994. It was a trend which took the basis of Grunge and transformed it into something completely different altogether. One of the greatest groups of this awakening were Silverchair from Australia, led by uber-cool frontman Daniel Johns. This is one of their best received albums and is worth investigating for that purpose, so let’s do so here.
We kick off with Emotion Sickness which is a six minute long piece with some orchestral touches, such as strings and piano and has some rather dark lyrical matter here. It is a warped and deep sounding piece that details drug use and other subject matter that is pretty intense. Musically, it is a great piece that sounds quite different to other Post-Grunge songs out there, with an excellent and nicely constructed sound. Daniel Johns sings from a very deep place here, and it is likely he was having some personal troubles in his life at the time. His wailing and screaming here is magnificent and he sounds like a really great singer here, without question. A fine piece of melodrama, it goes super quiet in the second half here, before clean guitar parts and the orchestral sounds return. It is likely this music was inspired by Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged in New York album here. Underrated and unmistakably excellent, great for when you need to be moved. Excellent song.
The original Anthem For The Year 2000 comes next, with reversed piano sounds and an eerie bunch of electronic sounds which make sense. Some police radio chatter then enters, before we go into a drop D tuned piece of musical mayhem. It’s a political song, but a very great one at that. The opening lyrics will raise the hairs on your arm, before Daniel Johns shows us a world controlled by greed, corporations and fascist based government policy. The thing is, this is even more relevant today than it was back in 1999. Musically, it is very decent and catchy, particularly in the chorus here. Chanted lyrics in the chorus, along with clever musical touches in the background, make this piece come scarily alive. Inevitably, those who believe in a more decent and just world will need to stand up and fight against horrible political institutions, and this is an anthem for that. Brilliant song, and worth repeat listens for sure.
Ana’s Song (Open Fire) is a lovely ballad, that sounds weird lyrically. It is incredibly lovely and beautiful listening all the same, and is very inspired and excellent effort that could easily be played for a lover of your own. Great music, with a subtle intelligence and clever arrangements, this album so far is brilliant. A great and interesting song, with a very inspired sound throughout, this music should be listened to and not forgotten. A very intense song with some nice semi-screaming in the second half, this is really great and awesome listening. Great listening from start to finish, Silverchair made great songs to tug at heartstrings. Excellent music here, with a Radiohead sounding outro, nice stuff.
Spawn (Again) is next, and it begins with some Heavy Metal styled guitars and weird electronic noises, before going into a really cool Post-Grunge track. It has a spoken word part, before launching into a great bunch of screaming here. This sounds really deep, with various parts that are, once again, cleverly thought out. You can hear Daniel Johns putting in 100% here, he just sounds really awesome here. The mixture of rhythmic pounding and screaming in the second half showcases these guys as Rock legends. Great stuff, even for an obvious lesser track. The downtuned and heavy guitars here sound a lot like Metallica, or someone similar. Excellent music here. It ends with some sounds of what seemingly is glass being broken, deep.
Following is another hit single Miss You Love which begins with some beautiful clean guitar and piano and sounds really deeply romantic. An excellent song, with gorgeous and wonderfully thought out structure, this is a Pop/Rock classic that makes one think about their respective partner. Some strings enter towards the middle of the song, and the chorus is really uplifting. A strange and contradictory (at times) love song with some lyrics like, “I love the way that you love, but I hate the way I’m supposed to love you back,” is clever and different. Excellent and beautiful song, Silverchair are one of the more underrated bands of the 1990s. Fresh, energetic and inspired, a really excellent song. Great music.
After that is Dearest Helpless comes next, with some strange electronic sounds at the start, before launching into a rather weird sounding and heavy piece of music. It is a very odd sounding song, but although it may not be a hit single, it sounds really fine and excellent in rhythmic and melodic sounds. Likely filler, it is okay, but difficult to make sense of here. Still, better than most extra tracks on an album today, the crashingly loud chorus sounds a lot like Marilyn Manson here. Intense and emotional with some interesting random sounds here through a keyboard instead of a guitar solo, this is quite arty for droptuned guitar music. Different for sure, but still fits the album nicely. Very weird though.
Do You Feel The Same begins with marching drums and launches into a punchy and melodramatic song that sounds as though Daniel Johns is having a rough time with things. This song is an improvement over the previous song, and our lead singer puts out an important question to fans and members of the general public here. Very musically accomplished and intense, this is a good song that is full of Metal inspired energy. The middle of the track leads up to an interesting guitar solo here that sounds different. Nicely done, Silverchair sound very good here and although it is obvious that this album is a bit of a mish-mash at this point, it is really good listening all the same. The guitars at the end sound really awesome, all the way to the fade out.
Black Tangled Heart begins with acoustic guitars and electric guitars multitracked that sound fresh. It is another good song with strings in the background here, which are elevating and interesting. A love song that is extremely messed up in some ways, but excellent musically and emotionally, Silverchair prove themselves to be real artists that were relevant at the time. There are lyrical references to dark imagery, such as suicide, but still is an excellent piece of music that sounds just as good today as it did in 1999. Daniel Johns screaming here is excellent and intense, as it always was. A really fine piece of orchestral and inspired music, with elements of Metal about it, a very clever and excellent piece of music here. The song is very good, with a crushing feel towards the end here on a musical and emotional level.
Next is Point Of View which begins with 1990s sounding wah-wah and flanger effected guitars, and Daniel Johns singing nicely over it all. It launches into another very good Rock/Metal/Post-Grunge piece that is full of passion and energy. It seems as though, despite this music being very emotional, Daniel Johns was singing from a dark place. Another decent song, this is powerful and different from most Classic Rock back in the days of the Hippies. Silverchair knew how to make emotional and powerful music here, really fine listening. Another decent and quite underrated piece of music, excellent to hear, it finishes with the treated guitar parts, before going into the next song.
Following is Satin Sheets which begins with a load of feedback, before going into a rather aggressive tune with keyboard sounds throughout and some punchy guitar chords. It’s likely about sexual indulgence here, although not overtly so, as male Rock stars generally do. Interesting piece, with an awesome bridge that is riff heavy, this is a shorter piece that sounds interesting, but is a very direct and honest statement. Rather ordinary sounding though after a while, but still okay.
Paint Pastel Princess comes along next, with some melodic chorus guitar parts in the intro, with matching organ. The band quickly goes into a good song that is another decent ballad, although like a lot of the album, sounds very dark and emotionally intense. Decent and musically accomplished, with some good string sections, this is good Rock music as the long era for the genre was beginning to fade a bit in 1999. Still, good and interesting listening, Silverchair do well here. Some intense screaming by Daniel Johns, once again, makes this piece come alive. The midsection has some palm muted rhythm guitar and a string section solo that sounds really weird, before going straight back into the song at hand. Really cool and clever, this is another one of the better songs from this album, although it is clear that most of the good tracks are in the first half of the album. Melodramatic music that works wonders, however.
Steam Will Rise is last here, and it begins with some weird bass guitar parts and drums, before some awful guitars come on top. Shortly into it, Daniel Johns sings smoothly over the top of it all, which is really only the good part of this song that exists. The rest of the song is just ordinary here. It was likely a very good idea to put this song last, it is just awful listening. There are redeeming features to this song, but otherwise, not worth hearing at all and definitely the point of skipping altogether. Too bad that the album ends like this, although the drumming here is very thunderous and different. Worth forgetting and although this track is frankly, bad, Silverchair still had enough musical quality on this album. The song ends with looped harmonies and some unusual textures, which sound rather drug influenced. A bit weird, but anything goes in the world of music.
This is a decent album listen that, although not an instant classic release like Nirvana would do, is very good for the most part and obviously well worked on. There are a few disappointing songs here, but nonetheless is a logical progression from the self-destructive nature of Grunge music into something more real and lively. This is one of the better Silverchair albums and is still very good for Rock fans today, as it was in 1999.
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