Friday, October 12, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 71: Silverchair - Frogstomp

Album - Frogstomp
Artist - Silverchair
Key Players - Chris Joannou - bass, Ben Gillies - drums, Daniel Johns - guitar, vocals
Produced By - Kevin Shirley

Release Date - March 27, 1995

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I am not sure if terrestrial radio is playing it, but Sirius is playing a single off the new cd that I think is really good. This had me decide it was time to go back as my attention to the band did ebb and flow over the years.

Overview - This was the first album from Australian, and then teenagers Silverchair. This particular album would garner them a lot of press in America both for music and their age. The album hit at a perfect time with the grunge movement and the album. The band would release a few albums then take a short break, to return in 2007. To this day, one of the bigger bands to come from Australia.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - A solo chugging, yet swirling bass opens up "Israel's Son". After a few bars the crunchy guitar and drums come in. It doesn't take the listener long to get what Silverchair will sound like. The sound is full, and mature for such young kids. Simple riffs perhaps but a full and well produced sound. The track kicks in to high gear as Johns sings "Get your hands in the air" a track that would cause mosh pits to come to life. The song that was probably the reason most folks (myself included) bought the record for in the first place "Tomorrow" follows. A rather simple,. quiet opening is quickly hushed by the rousing chorus. Again, its a full sounding track with each instrument having just the right level in the mix. "Faultline" begins with a more laid back approach but the band is on to something with the quiet/loud kind of thing. Sure is kind of a lather/rinse/repeat format but the songs are catchy enough to not bore the listener. Another single on American radio was "Pure Massacre". Rolling tom toms roll out underneath as Johns and Joannou play lightly over the top. By the one minute mark we have hit the distortion pedal and we are off once more. "Shade" is a lighter more casual track from the band. The band shows a softer side with acoustic guitars but its by no means a ballad. "Leave Me Out" brings back the rock. The opening riffs have a very heavy "monsters of rock" feel. Sort of generic grunge riffs but still thick and heavy. Johns voice never had a ton of range but he bellows this track pretty well. "Suicidal Dream" is the obligatory introspective track on the record. Johns pines over emotions and uncertainty. The track, musically, is nothing out of the norm for the record. It's a mid-tempo track until towards the end when the band speeds it up some but its not for long before the song is fading. Grinding riffs that kicked of many a mosh pit the instrumental "Madman" is up next. Sure its filled with virtually every stereotypical moment of rock music but it none the less rips. See for yourself in the download section. "Undecided" opens with the distorted bass, single notes at that, and the band drops in 10 seconds later. Its a crunchy track, most notably on the guitar. The drums have a certain "thwap" sound to them as well. "Cicada" follows with the thump thump of the toms before the guitars come down. As mentioned before there are not really ground breaking moments here, but the band is a great collective whole. Feeding off one another the song just remains a tight mix with the right mix of heavy. "Findaway" is a great album closer. It leaves the listener with a sample of everything they'd now expect in listening to Silverchair. Big guitars, rolling bass and hard hitting drums. A perfect closer.

Where are they now?
- The band is still active and have recently released Young Modern. Following a 2002 tour the band did go on "hiatus". Johns, who had battled anorexia in the past worked on solo projects and was married. Joannou and Gillies both took the downtime to work on solo projects. None of the projects were as successful as their collective whole and in late 2005 the band announced the break was over.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - Personally I have seen the band three times. The first was their first US tour in support of Frogstomp at the Paradise September 3, 1995. The show was good, but the funniest, oddest thing about the show was that comedian/actor
Bob Goldthwait stood next to me and my buddies. We shared some jokes and sing was odd. The next stop was an opening slot for the
Red Hot Chili Peppers on December 6, 1995 at the Fleet Center in Boston. The band did a pretty good job with the larger venue and I recall hearing rumors that their dads were their roadies. The final time was part of a radio festival called the WBCN River Rave. This was at a larger amphitheater on June 8, 1996. The band did run thru Boston earlier in 2007 but I missed them.

FDF Overall Take
- In recent years Daniel Johns as gone on to say that this and the bands follow up "Freak Show" were more albums made by a high school band and the band has gone on to ignore songs from both in their live sets. Considering their ages its a pretty solid record throughout and the sales alone can prove it.

Official Page
Myspace is here (check out Straight Lines)

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!
***mp3's have been removed Nov 21, 2007 11:29 am ET***


If you like it you can buy it here for one.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

he just got divorced... from actress/ singer natalie imbruglia (who is very very cute!)


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