As the 90’s came to an end and the music started to evolve, plenty of bands started to add other elements to their sounds to compliment the changing climates. Radiohead is a prime example. One band that really took a sharp turn was Silverchair. Their third album Neon Ballroom, took them to the next level as far as songwriting, production, and performance. Their earlier releases especially Frogstomp were full of untamed rage, despair, and teenage angst. Frogstomp was written when the band were only 14. When Neon Ballroom was released, Daniel Johns, Ben Gillies, Chris Joannou, seemed as though they finally achieved what they wanted to do musically. Lyrically, the songs were more personal and had a feel to them that could be related to just as the early 90’s “grunge” bands. Musically it went beyond the simple drums, bass and guitar, The riffs got more intricate, rhythms more complex, and a new element of strings were used. The first track on the album “Emotion Sickness” takes that approach and mixes their blend of hard rock with a bit of orchestral sounds, thus making it epic, especially at the peak of the song where Daniel sings “get out” in such pain and despair. “Ana’s Song (Open Fire)” was written about Daniel’s bout with anorexia. The first single “Anthem For The Year 2000” has the similar vibe of their previous 2 releases but this time more grown up. Other stand outs on Neon Ballroom are “Miss You Love” “Spawn Again” (which was originally featured on the Spawn Soundtrack), “Black Tangled Heart.” There really is something about this album that allows the listener to grow with the band. Not to mention that this album was name number 25 in the top 100 best Australian albums of all time. Silverchair went on to release 2 other albums after Neon Ballroom, but they don’t compare to how great this album is. Now if only they would just get back together and tour!!
By: Brian Lacy