Review: ‘Silverchair’

Inside the oversold and sweaty Whisky, this band of 15- and 16-year-olds sent the equally young crowd into quick fits of hysteria with "Madman," a thrashy instrumental number from the album.

Inside the oversold and sweaty Whisky, this band of 15- and 16-year-olds sent the equally young crowd into quick fits of hysteria with “Madman,” a thrashy instrumental number from the album.

Over the course of the hourlong show, the trio paid continual musical homage to the likes of Black Sabbath (“Leave Me Out”), Helmet, Alice in Chains (“Faultline”) and Soundgarden, but steered clear of the heavy lyrical messages or depressing tales that marks those bands’ work.

Singer Daniel Johns, almost the mirror-image of an adolescent Kurt Cobain, held the audience’s attention throughout with his charming blend of wide-eyed innocence and passionate, though derivative, vocal style.

Not surprisingly, Silverchair offers very little by way of originality or depth and, in concert, is quite sloppy. Those shortcomings, however, weren’t noticed by the underage audience that may not even be familiar with many of the groups that Silverchair borrows from.

Silverchair

(Whisky, West Hollywood; 395 capacity; $ 10)

Production

Promoted by KROQ/Big Dummy Prod. Band: Daniel Johns, Chris Joannou, Ben Gillies. Reviewed Sept. 12, 1995. Australian band Silverchair is a chart-topping, record-setting trio whose unprecedented early success at home is due in part to the fact that these high schoolers play familiar-sounding songs and riffs without the usual angst bluster of the grunge set. That success is also starting to happen in a big way here in the States, where the band's Epic debut, "Frogstomp," has just entered the top 10 on the strength of the single "Tomorrow," a catchy number that sounds more like Pearl Jam than the band would care to admit.
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