I hated Silverchair in 1993.
Why? Because I was jealous.
These punks. These teenagers. How dare they make these songs that were so damn good. What? They’re from Newcastle? Bloody hell.
I was 17. They were 14. I played music in Canberra, still trying to find my way into a band of like-minded grunge heads. I heard ‘Tomorrow’ and straight away I realised that these kids, 3 years my junior were going to be better than I ever was. It was a sad moment of revelation for me.
For years, I would hold it against this trio of teenagers from just north of Sydney. I hated the fact that they had broken it already. What makes them so special?
Frogstomp is what made them so special. Despite the title, it’s an album that has stood the test of time and smashed Australia into the grunge era. I found myself turning Israel’s Son up so loud in my poor little car that the speakers couldn’t handle it…or my ears. 20 years on, three Corollas and tinnitus later, the album has been remastered and released.
Listening to it with older ears, a little bit softer, I do see the immaturity in this album, but when you consider how bloody young they were, you can excuse it. There’s not a lot of diversity in the songs, the guitars pretty much have one sound and the vocals are far from deep.
Of course, we know now that Silverchair went on to become a lot more diverse, with releases like Neon Ballroom and Diorama. Daniel Johns has gone on to become a lot more eclectic and now performs as a solo artist with some impressive new tunes.
But for me, Silverchair is all about Pure Massacre. The track that made me flail loudly around my bedroom, playing my bass as loud as my house (or my family) would allow. I still find myself wanting to turn it up to ear-splitting volume.
Incidentally it was in 1996 that I saw Silverchair (with Even and Midget) at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney, which is currently on at Homebush right now.