TITLE: Freak Show
YEAR RELEASED: 1997
CHART ACTION: #12 US, #38 UK
SINGLES: Freak (#25 Mainstream, #29 Modern, #34 UK), Abuse Me (#4 Mainstream, #4 Modern, #40 UK), Cemetery, The Door
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Slave
LINEUP: Daniel Johns, Ben Gillies, Chris Joannou
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Oh, the second album issue strikes hard, which really hit this band of teenagers.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Silverchair should have been just about done with high school when this album was released, and some of the songs were written around the time their debut was taking the world by storm. Does that excuse the sloppy lyrics, half-baked Nirvanaisms, and generally maudlin sensibility.
No, not really.
The lyrics to “Freak” are ham-fisted and dilute a great riff. That’s just the beginning. “Abuse Me” is a Nirvana slow-song rip from a teenager’s journal (which it probably is). As the album goes on, you get the idea that Johns and company wanted this album to be ‘a lost Nirvana album’, but not even Kurt Cobain at his most juvenile or suicidal could match some of these songs.
I’m going by song by song on this one – some tracks have potential to excite. But as a whole, it’s an unsuccessful attempt at aping an idol.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Johns has basically disavowed this album.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: C-: You can play “Name the Nirvana song that inspired this” for each track. I exiled all but four, as I have all of Nirvana’s albums and don’t need another.