Silverchair was a very young band, with two of the members of Silverchair being 15 years old on the release of this album, their debut album. No, these guys were not your typical teen music act. They made seriously adult tunes and wanted to be taken seriously as well. These guys weren’t like the Spice Girls, Robbie Williams or even anything like Blur or Oasis. They were talented young men with a bold vision for their musical future and the world of music, heavily influenced and inspired by the Grunge movement of the early 1990s. This is their debut album. Let’s hear if it sounds any good and if it deserves the underrated classic status that it has generally been perceived as.
We begin with Israel’s Son which is a classic song by Silverchair. It begins with deep, nearly subsonic bass guitar. Before long, multiple layers of instrumentation gradually illuminate this piece nicely, and we are away. This is a wonderful piece that is fairly biblical, which is the best way to describe this song. In any case, this is a really cool riff-driven tune that sounds really excellent. Daniel Johns was barely 15 years old at this point, and his voice sounds really unique and strong sounding for a singer his age. The midsection has a load of feedback and interesting guitar harmonics. It quickly launches into a song of loathing and hatred. This is quite likely about the Christian concept of Jesus Christ’s death, a very strange musical piece indeed. Towards the end, the whole changes completely with a tempo and structure change. Daniel Johns begins singing gloriously. The ending of the song is super dramatic, with screamed vocals, super-fast drums and Thrash Metal style riffing. The finale is really excellent, a great song.
Following is Tomorrow which is one of the most loved Silverchair songs. It begins with some awesome guitar arpeggio riffing and quickly goes into a nice ballad sounding piece that is really excellent. Daniel Johns sings really well here, and this is good proof of how young and fresh these guys were at the time. Some 12 string acoustic guitar is thrown into the mix, before relaunching into the basis of the song. A classic lyric is here: “You say money isn’t everything, but I’d like to see if you could live without it.” This sounds like a rather bitter tale of what the future may present for people and it is another classic Silverchair song. There is a really cool guitar solo towards the end, and some timeless singing as well which is excellent. A good mainstream 1990s piece of music, this is really good to listen to. It ends with sustained guitars, nice effort.
Faultline is another decent and very 1990s sounding tune, right from the start. It is fairly clear at this point that the band were still evolving their sound and talent, yet were keen on delivering a top effort way back in 1995. This one is a bit like a U2 sounding Grunge song (or post-Grunge, if you will) and it is really nicely delivered. The loud semi-Metal guitars keep this one going well. Daniel Johns sings his heart out well. Not bad for an Australian teenage music act, these guys had a bright future ahead of them. In the second half, a surprising tempo and key change takes you by surprise and just sounds really cool. Towards the end, feedback guitars and loose guitar riffing are followed by thumping bass and pounding drums, before reaching another energetic climax. Great music.
Pure Massacre comes next, with some very 1960s sounding riffs and pounding drums. This is an interesting listening experience and is much more relevant today in our postmodern world of criminal politicians with agendas destroying people’s lives. Anyway, it does sound really quite good, especially in the chorus of this song. This does sound very well delivered and performed, and although it isn’t directly political, it sounds indirectly political. The musicality of this music is really amazing, and it just sounds really fine and excellent music-wise. An exceptionally decent and extraordinarily surprising listen, this is the sound of a political coup that goes horribly wrong. Really great listening, this is still good to this day. Daniel Johns is an extraordinarily good singer and just sounds on top form. Good tune.
Following is Shade which has a very 1990s sounding guitar intro, with some decent playing. Soon enough, this piece gets going and it honestly sounds somewhat like the Red Hot Chili Peppers a bit. It sounds like a love song, although it is encouraging such a lover not to be fearful. This is a decent tune and proved that Silverchair was only just getting started. A really nice listen, there is a clean, mid-position guitar solo here that is brief. It’s not exactly the best piece from the album but is a promising and decent listen nonetheless. Some manic screaming is at the end of the song, showcasing the Rock vocal talent of Daniel Johns. Good song.
Next along is Leave Me Out which is in the ultra-Heavy Metal zone, sounding a lot like Black Sabbath on this song. Daniel Johns sings appropriately on this song, sounding like the future Rock God that he was destined to become. A really energetic and fantastic sounding piece of music, with quite a quirky guitar solo to listen to. This is a really cool listen, just sounding fantastic. Silverchair was obviously a melting pot of different influences. There is a surprise twist towards the end which is really different before the song concludes. Nice.
Suicidal Dream begins with some clean guitar parts, a brooding set of melodies and a sense that this is an unhappy sort of song. Which it is, but all the same, it is a really awesome listen by Silverchair. It is a sad fact that so many people die from suicide today, and quite frankly, more could be done to prevent this from being such an issue. Anyway, a good song and surprisingly listenable. Towards the end is some awesome vocal work from Daniel Johns. It goes somewhat Thrash Metal towards the end before finishing, but that’s okay. Good listen.
Madman begins with a bunch of excellent guitar riffs, before launching into more Thrash Metal styled territory. It’s short and excellent listening and has no vocals on it. Some gurgling bass guitar and playing are in the centre of this song, before launching back into the action for us listeners. Really cool, it is a good example of the sonic power that these guys could do, even without vocals. Nice effort all the same. It ends with a frenzied finish.
Next along is Undecided which begins with some fuzz bass notes, a semi-funky sort of groove and a different listening experience altogether to what Silverchair usually do. It is a bit of a slow starter, but once this gets going, it sounds really terrific. Daniel Johns sings in a very good way, showcasing a rare and unique talent on these Silverchair albums. A cool and amazing sounding constructed piece, this is not bad, even for a lesser song by the group. Decent sounding and different, a very refreshing piece of music at hand. A very groove-based and textural piece by a Post-Grunge group that sounds very infectious, not a bad tune. It ends with some good feedback.
Following is Cicada which begins with some heavily overdriven chords, thunderous drumming and it gets underway with passion and style. This is a really cool and listenable piece of music and tells the tale of a young boy who has considerable difficulties in his life. Perhaps not the great Silverchair song ever, it still sounds very supercharged, youthful and passionate all the same. An interesting sort of listening experience, this is quite focused music for the masses. There is a weird sounding guitar solo, before launching back into the riff-laden mayhem. A good song, although unlikely a great song. It’s very interesting. It ends fairly quickly, and has some loose drum parts and some studio laughter right at the end, a bit weird really.
Findaway is the last song on the first half of the album. It has a counted intro, before going straight into a fast and different piece with some interesting lyrics. It sounds really fast and ridiculously good and is a good example of a decent three minute Pop/Rock piece of music that sounds really gifted and unique. A very nice way to complete the first half of this album, with another manic guitar solo. This is very uplifting and proves that teenage talent need not be only Justin Bieber, Silverchair had talent too. It ends with some swirling guitars, a nice song.
Tomorrow – Single Version begins with some clean guitar parts, before launching into the simple and melodic piece of excellence. Fun fact, this song was the biggest release as a single by Silverchair, and you can clearly hear why. It is a really cool and different listen and seems to be quite a different song than what you’d expect. The vocal here isn’t mixed very well, but aside from that, this is a nice and well-delivered tune that deserves the recognition that it got. Good listen and playing on this song, a real treat. Nice tune from start to finish. Cool stuff.
Next is Acid Rain which begins with more crunchy pseudo-Metal chords, before launching into a really cool tune that sounds very decent, even for a lesser track. It is a very image evocative styled tune and just shows the world how amazing these tunes were from the beginning of their career onwards. Wonderful listening, there are some interesting musical touches about it. This album kicks the proverbial and just sounds really amazing. Great to listen to.
Following is Blind which has some interesting guitar parts in the introduction, before launching into a very decent and solid listen from Silverchair. It is rather catchy and is a really cool listen throughout. In any case, this is a track that continues to uphold the quality of the album. After a while, it goes into a faster and heavier frenzy that is different, powerful and energetic. This section is different, and it just sounds really top and amazing. It then goes back into the slow song section and is a good example of what Silverchair could do to impress listeners. It goes back into the fast and pounding section, before wrapping up very nicely with a pseudo-Shred guitar solo. Great effort. It ends abruptly.
Stoned comes next, with some good guitar parts and interesting songcraft. It is a good piece of music that is likely about marijuana use, but still, all the same is another good listening experience. Daniel Johns puts in a remarkable effort singing. There is a weird guitar solo in the second half before this one eventually wraps up in less than three minutes of length. Good listen.
Madman – Vocal Mix is just that, and it sounds raw, fast and uncompromising. It sounds really expert and wonderful, although one wonders why the original piece couldn’t have been this one. In any case, Silverchair does Rock very well on these songs, and this one is no exception whatsoever. In any case, a lively and interesting piece of music that is more about sonics and textures than singing. This concludes the main set of songs. Excellent.
The live set begins with Madman – Live at the Cambridge begins with some frenzied audience yelping, before launching into a great guitar-heavy piece that sounds really terrific. This is an excellent live performance and just sounds amazingly good, even for the instrumental that this piece is. A really awesome listen, given that this is a live version of the original song. Good to listen to, especially in today’s postmodern RnB world of autotune. It has some heavy riffs throughout. It finishes well, with the audience giving the tune much appreciation. Great stuff.
Next is Blind – Live at the Cambridge which begins with the brooding opening guitar parts, and much screaming and shouting from the crowd. Daniel Johns sings wonderfully and shows the world his amazing talent as a live performer. The whole piece sounds irresistible and the whole group know their craft very well. The chorus is a manic expression of musicianship and melody that is rarely matched elsewhere. It launches into the sped-up section, which powers this song along nicely. A very good live performance, this is a really rare talent in the world of music. Silverchair was obviously a hugely gifted set of musicians from the start. Nice piece of Pop/Rock/Grunge that sounds really good. Catchy from start to finish, the outro in particular is very manic.
Tomorrow – Live at the Cambridge which launches into the brilliant melodic single from the group. It sounds ridiculously good and shows that Daniel Johns and Silverchair could deliver a great live performance. These guys do sound amazing, and this live performance is incredibly good. The mixture of sounds, sonics and singing make this piece really come alive. It sounds really uplifting and energetic and is one of the defining moments of live performance in the 1990s. Towards the end are some expressive guitar solos that are rather unmatched by other musicians out there. Cool, calm and clever, this is another rewarding listen. Decent from start to finish.
Faultline – Live at the Cambridge is next, and is seemingly a Silverchair rarity. In any case, this four-minute-long live song is much welcome here. It sounds a lot like Nirvana in comparison, but minus the Kurt Cobain suicidal stuff. It just delivers and sounds really excellent and refreshing. Daniel Johns sings nice and soft over the top of it all, and the loud rhythm section perfectly complements his vocals. Really cool and interesting listening, this sounds very different. A nice addition to this live set, this sounds ridiculously good. It ends with great guitars and pounding drums, before launching into musical mayhem, before concluding. Excellent work.
Last on this album is Pure Massacre – Live at the Cambridge. It begins slowly and is a seven-minute-long piece that is a lot longer than the original. Sure enough, it gets kicking and it just sounds really wonderful. Daniel Johns is clearly in charge here, with the others backing him up. This is a really cool and amazing listen, hard to believe these guys were 15 years old at the time. The song itself and this version of it does not disappoint whatsoever. This is the perfect way to conclude this album, and it shows how really on top of things that these guys were musically. The midsection has some pounding drums, gurgling bass guitar and some heavy guitar riffing. The guitars eventually cut out, whilst the band go into a decent jam of sorts. It gradually slows down in the second half, before going into the last verses of the song. Daniel Johns sings and screams in a very awesome way. A very underrated and great Rock band, this is a fine finish to this album which is a great album itself. It finishes with cymbal crashing and the crowd cheering nicely. Not bad for over seven minutes of music.
This is an extraordinary effort for a debut album, and Silverchair became a household name and was charted to be Rock’s next big thing. Daniel Johns in particular has become a celebrity these days, with his own Spotify podcast Who is Daniel Johns? But remember, these fantastic tunes were the start of something amazing and exciting. Brilliant effort, a must-hear for those who want Grunge music to make themselves feel good.
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