Volume 90, Issue 75

Thursday, February 06, 1997



Soundwaves: Kids in the hall

Freak Show

I love silverchair. They rock. They rock ass. Rickety, rockety rackety ass. Just when I had worn out all my concert bootlegs and video tapes and was on the edge of a nervous breakdown, silverchair finally released its new CD, Freak Show.

The trio of so-called Nirvannabes – Daniel Johns, Ben Gillies and Chris Joannou – returns after the success of 1995's Frogstomp and doesn't miss a beat with its heavy angst-laden rock. Screaming and ranting on about the hardships of grade 10, this group wanes with all the intensity of an older and angrier band, like the Scorpions, all the while giving the Backstreet Boys a run for their money for the cover of Tiger Beat.

The album opens with a hard dose of "Slave," a song about being rejected by the head cheerleader and being forced to take your mom to the prom. Just as you have to hold on to something and catch your breath, the boys from Sydney, Australia belt out another offering called "Pop Song For Us Rejects," a story re-telling Johns' harrowing real life incident about being carded at the liquor store. The song binges and shrieks out its views on social injustices.

The album has already turned heads with the grade school circuit after its current release, "Abuse Me," a catchy little number that thrashes about being given too much homework on NBC's "Must See TV night." "C'mon abuse me more, I like it," Johns defiantly tells his teachers. Just another example of his hard-edged, sassy attitude.

The boys display their oft-concealed sensitive nature with the catchy "Cemetery," a sad sing-song about how Johns almost cut his golden locks accidentally the first time he shaved. Johns wears his heart on his sleeve as he pours out his emotion with the line, "I'll give you click click boom." It's a line that will tear apart even the toughest of GWAR fans.

The boys also throw in the raw and edgy "Lie to Me," a sample of what to expect when school lets out in June and silverchair starts touring (Pending Joannou not having to repeat Typing II in summer school).

From the country that has produced such mass talents as AC/DC and Yahoo Serious, silverchair must rival Bush X for cutest "alternative" band on the market. It's impossible to package them up in plastic and keep them in your basement, like we all wish, but Freak Show comes awfully close to it. Behind "Biodome," the best example of what can be accomplished with a little effort and a lot of money.

–Nick Lewis

To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997