It hasn’t gone unnoticed that a plethora of bands have emerged from Down Under in recent years. However, before the likes of Parkway Drive paved the way for the current crop of Aussie talent, there was Silverchair. Formed in the early 90s when they were barely teenagers, the alt-rock/grunge trio would go on to have success at home and abroad until going on hiatus in 2011. Now to coincide with the 20th anniversary of their sophomore release, ‘Freakshow’, Melbourne label UNFD have gathered together a generation of bands influenced by Silverchair to pay tribute. Like many cover albums, ‘Spawn Again’, produces mixed results.
The Amity Affliction opens things with ‘Tomorrow’, leaving their own mark on the track adding ineffective growls. In a similar fashion, In Hearts Wake, unfortunately, turn ‘Freak’ from a bombastic grunge-rock anthem into a forgettable stomping metalcore number. Northlane’s take of ‘Anthem For The Year 2002’ fares better, highlighting Marcus Bridge’s always impressive vocals with progressive metal guitar blasts making it one of the more notable inclusions. Likewise, Hands Like Houses transforms ‘Ana’s Song (Open Fire)’’ from laid-back alt-rock to a layered, powerful post-hardcore highlight.
Ocean Grove make the title track their own, injecting it with more chaos and intensity than the original. It’s a joyful blast from the nu-metal revivalists. At the other end of the scale, Storm The Sky’s version of ‘Emotion Sickness’ doesn’t stray from the original, revolving around sweeping strings with a heavy surge being a difference.
Tonight Alive provide a late highlight with ‘Without You’. The reliable and powerful vocals of Jenna McDougall gives the track a familiar, uplifting pop-rock shine. Brisbane’s Columbus round things off nicely with ‘Straight Lines’, giving it a lick of pop-punk paint for good measure.
While there are a handful of highlights, ‘Spawn Again’ is no different than most tribute records. Nevertheless, for a new generation of listeners, this is a great gateway into Silverchair.
‘Spawn (Again): A Tribute To Silverchair’ by Various Artists is out now on UNFD.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)