Love ’em or hate ’em, there is no doubt that Silverchair left their mark on the Australian musical landscape: five consecutive #1 albums, a feat no other band has matched, and worldwide sales of more than eight million among their other achievements.
Twenty years on from the release of their second album, UNFD has commissioned a tribute to the Novocastrian trio and given the bands artistic freedom over their choices. Some have acquitted themselves well. Others less so.
The track listing being in chronological order from earliest to latest, The Amity Affliction offer a pretty uninspired version of ‘Tomorrow’ that’s shown up as worse by Void of Vision, belying their name, completely re-interpreting ‘Israel’s Son’. Unsurprisingly too, Ocean Grove make the title track their own, giving it a heavier and also an electronic spin. The Brave do a sterling version of ‘Cemetery’, too, but the bulk of the album is essentially hit and miss – with a lot of miss. It’s difficult to say whether it’s the acts themselves or because Silverchair’s music was very much a product of its time and doesn’t resonate now the way it did then – how often do you hear their tunes on radio or TV now, after all? – but we’re going for the bands involved being mostly at sea with the material.
Highlights are the three mentioned above, plus Northlane’s ‘Anthem for the Year 2000’ (see how dated that is?) and ‘Straight Lines’ by Columbus, for some reason. Everything else is either terrible (Tonight Alive, In Hearts Wake) or barely good. Daniel Johns himself probably doesn’t care, because his songs are suddenly getting airplay again after almost a decade, but everyone else should. This really is not very good.
1. The Amity Affliction – Tomorrow
2.Void of Vision – Israel’s Son
3. In Hearts Wake – Freak
4. The Brave – Cemetery
5. Northlane – Anthem For The Year 2000
6. Hands Like Houses – Ana’s Song (Open Fire)
7. Ocean Grove – Spawn (Again)
8. Storm The Sky – Emotion Sickness
9. Tonight Alive – Without You
10. Columbus – Straight Lines