Top critical review
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good silverchair but not their best
on 15 August 2002
When silverchair burst on to the music scene with the debut album 'frogstomp' my reaction was that they were a band with a lot of potential but that, quite understandably, they needed time for thier sound to mature. So I eagerly awaited the release of 'Freak Show' hoping to hear a change from the purist grunge of 'Frogstomp'.
To say I was dissapointed would be harsh, it would be more accurate to say that although I thought the album was good, I had expected a more artistic album this time. The album is different from the first, heavier and more angry. Like the first it's dripping with the great riffs and catchy tunes that made their name at the tender age of 14/15. But it lacked something, that departure from a fundamental post-grunge attitude towards music. It seemed to me that Johns was still strugling to use his undoubted songwriting ability as a vehicle for catharsis. That is not to say that songs like 'freak', 'abuse me' and 'the door' aren't fantastic tunes, they just didn't do justice to what Silverchair were really capable of. 'Cemetery', the best song on the album with hints of orchestration and a 'cinematic' sound, offers the faintest taste of where Silverchair would soon be heading with their music.
I would recommend this album to anyone who has a love of grunge/rock music or wishes to get the full picture of how Silverchair evolved in to the great band they are today.
The first two albums are eclipsed by the 'chair's later offerings, 'Neon Ballroom' and 'Diorama' but when we consider the bands age at the time, 'Frogstomp' and 'Freak Show' are great achievments. They should fantasticly proud of both of their first two albums.
In conclusion, 'Freak Show' although not the best showcase for Silverchair's music is still a worthy buy. Great music and some great riffs. Just don't think that the type of music represented by this and their first album is the only string to Johns' considerable bow.