Silverchair: Daniel Johns (guitar); Chris Joannou (bass guitar); Ben Gillies (drums).
Additional personnel: Luke Steele (guitar); Alain Johannes (slide guitar); Michelle Rose (pedal steel guitar); Matt "Hippie" Appleton (brass); Paul Mac (keyboards); Nayo Wallace, Elysa Gomez (background vocals); Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
With 2007's YOUNG MODERN, Australian trio Silverchair move still further away from the derivative grunge sound that typified their early releases. The band's fifth studio album is remarkably ambitious, not least for its impressive roster of sonic architects and collaborators. Producer Nick Launay (Talking Heads), mixer David Botrill (Tool), and legendary arranger Van Dyke Parks all lend their talents to YOUNG MODERN's landscape.
There's not a trace of the band's once prominent guitar-heavy sludge, and even the opening rocker, "Young Modern Station," bounces along with a pop glee. "Straight Lines" soars with melodic, heady bliss, while "If You Keep Losing Sleep" plays like a compressed song cycle. It may be Parks's influence, but the ghost of the Beach Boys floats through the album's falsetto singing and dreamy tunes. Closer to XTC than Nirvana, Silverchair take a significant stride forward with this release.
Rolling Stone (p.72) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Aggressively modern...from the balled-fist fuzz of 'Mind Reader' to the sumptuous glam of 'Strange Behaviour,' and the glassy jangle of 'Waiting All Day....
Uncut (p.65) - "MODERN is a polished glam-rock suite, boasting more ecstatic melodies and colorful riffs than their four previous efforts combined." -- Grade: A-
Kerrang (Magazine) (p.48) - "[A] weird vaudeveille record of Beatles-esque whimsy, complete with masterful orchestrations and tumbling, epic songs whose vision is so off-kilter as to be wonderfully unique."