Maybe I’m just grasping at straws of my grunge-ful teenage years, but it’s good to see that a band like Silverchair is still making music 12 years after they blew up with runaway hit “Tomorrow.” Back then they were a trio of 15-year-olds from Australia, lead singer Daniel Johns had the good looks and the long blond hair that got the band on MTV, and their timing was impeccable. Surfacing just after the death of Kurt, touring with Red Hot Chili Peppers, these kids were the fresh faced youthful side of the grunge coin and it worked for them. Back then, I didn’t really buy into the hype, though I will admit to surrendering to the groove of “Tomorrow.”
With Young Modern, their first album of new music in 5 years, I feel that I can finally discover this band as a band- rather than just that cute young band from Australia.
The biggest surprise with this record is how mellow it is. They’ve done the screams, the big distorted bursts, now they seem to want to level it down a bit and play the mature music of elder rockers. Usually this would piss me off, but since I was never tuned into their more aggressive side, I find myself enjoying the quiet beauty of “Reflections of a Sound” and “Straight Lines.”
When they do insert a bit of a funkier groove, it’s closer in time to David Bowie (“The Man That Knew Too Much”) or The Beatles (“Insomnia”) than to any of their ’90s peers. “Mindreader” is another great tune, though it’s pretty damn reminiscent of Sebadoh’s song of the same name.
Silverchair have officially stepped out of the shadow of grunge.