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Neon Ballroom

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Album Review

Silverchair's third full-length release is a confusing affair that reveals a band more talented than their critics realized and more confused than their fans could tolerate. The Australian trio never made any secret of their respect for Nirvana, and on Neon Ballroom Silverchair does one of the best impersonations of their Seattle counterparts on record. It would be easy to convince any Kurt Cobain fan that "Spawn Again" and "Dearest Helpless" are actually In Utero outtakes, and quite good ones at that! When the weepy ballads, like the Goo Goo Dolls-esque "Miss You Love," pull Neon Ballroom into an overtly radio-friendly direction, all the promise of a gritty grunge tribute fades, and Silverchair appears to be serving two masters. The resultingly incongruent musical textures stifled Neon Ballroom and assured a certain amount of fan disenchantment despite the minor airplay success of "Ana's Song (Open Fire)." There are still enough nice moments on this CD to recommend it to even casual fans of the Aussie outfit. Those who had enough of Silverchair when modern rock radio played their mid-'90s hits to death need not concern themselves with this mixed effort.

Biography

Formed: 1992 in Newcastle, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Silverchair quickly rose to international stardom in 1995 by mining a mix of Nirvana and Pearl Jam on their debut album, Frogstomp. Buoyed by the angst-ridden single "Tomorrow," Frogstomp topped the Australian charts and cracked the Top Ten in America, making Silverchair the first Australian act since INXS to enjoy such success in the States. The three bandmates gained just as much recognition for their age; at the time Frogstomp was recorded, they were all 15 years old. Although grunge's popularity...
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Neon Ballroom, Silverchair
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