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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Silverchair
Diorama
Atlantic Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


February 4, 1999
It seems that the boy band pop craze has even infiltrated those bands once deemed grunge by the MTV/AOL-Time Warner media establishment. Take Australia's rockin' answer to Hanson, well pre-cursor actually, Silverchair. Back in the 90's sometime around the middle of the decade, these fair-haired lads had a grungy hit single about stomping on frogs or something, remember? I barely do either. Front boy Daniel Johns had a sort of prepubescent Kurt Cobain thing going on, which the A&R sloths just went ga-ga over. "So cute, so innocent and think of the angst he can portray." I guess they could really play their instruments, which is cool, but who really knows? Milli Vanilli won like a Grammy or something.

So now it's 2003 and Atlantic is still confident that the Silverchair boys can make oodles of dough. So they go into the studio with producer David Bottrill, who says, "Alright, mates, let's not just go big, let's go huuuuuuge!" And the boys just smile, 'cuz, whatever man, we rock and this old guy is gonna' broaden our sound and stuff. Sadly, thousands of major label dollars and hours later, something has gone awry. The production got out of control somewhere in the process and this does not bode well. I mean, strings and orchestration are one thing, but this sounds like the New York Philharmonic all dropped acid and went out into the Outback to find themselves before coming back to the studio and letting someone arrange their parts into utter shit cheese. Daniel's vocals are borderline N'Sync at times too, not very dark and grungy, although on tracks like "One Way Mule" the music makes an attempt to go down into that dark place at the bottom of every 17 year olds heart. Elsewhere, like on the opener, "Across the Night" and "Without You" it's like a lost Beatles session that went awry, minus the talent and vision. Silverchair play very bottom of the barrel modern rock and no amount of studio tinkering can really disguise that, although Billboard apparently deems this record "remarkably innovative and gratifying." Don't be surprised.

I admit, I was predisposed not to like this record and most likely you would be too. I mean, it's Silverchair. I even asked if I really had to review it and the dictatorial powers that be here at LAS cracked the whip and said it was either that or the new Mariah Carey record if I didn't. So I sucked it up and gave it a fair shake. And it wasn't good. I sort of feel bad for the Silverchair boys though, if they hadn't had the large scale production carrot dangled in front of them maybe they would have churned out a record that while less in scale would have been more in quality. So next time, if there is a next time, I recommend going small.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker

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