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Quick Shot Reviews: Silverchair, Switch Flicker, The Hibernauts, Finger Eleven,

06-Sep-2007 03:18 AM Contributed by: pete Music Reviews

Some musical intelligence from Australia. A singer/songwriter from the U.K. who has been slogging it out for two years and ended up creating something pretty decent. A love/hate relationship with a band from St. Louis. And a platinum selling band that probably doesn't care what I think.

Silverchair / Young Modern

Hey, remember Silverchair? You know, that band of Australian teenagers that broke into the scene in the mid-90's? Well, I'm not sure exactly what they've been up to since 1999, but they're back with an offering that really surprised me. Released on July 24th, this album has shades of early Genesis and Queen mixed with the current sound of TV On The Radio. Hmm... sometimes; other times I don't know what to compare it to. Starting out with melodic indie-pop, there are unexpected turns in the individual songs as well as the album as a whole, all for good. Some of the less radio-friendly, yet best, tracks on the CD are If You Keep Losing Sleep, Those Thieving Birds, and Insomnia. The album contains moments of orchestral arrangement, melodic sequences, and lots of fairly unique indie-pop, with Daniel Johns constantly displaying bold vocal ability. The last track, All Across The World, is both odd and intelligent, including a few seconds of surprising chipmunk-style backing vocals. Sadly, I missed Silverchair in Toronto on August 1st, but hopefully they'll return sometime in the near future.

Info: Silverchair | Connect: MySpace
Switch Flicker / Charlatans & Hypnotists

Switch Flicker is result of two year's worth of sweat of singer/songwriter Neal Vogler from Plymouth, U.K. He is responsible for all the lead vocals and guitars, and the majority of the backing vocals and keyboards on the album, with percussion and bass provided by others. There's an electronic undercurrent to many of the songs, sort of in the way that Muse pulls it off. Sure, there are a couple of moments where Vogler tries just a little too hard with his vocals, but overall the sound is good, and this is an artist worth taking a look and listen.

Info & Connect: MySpace
The Hibernauts / Periodic Fable

"If I have to hear one more single-chord quickly-strummed guitar part, I'm going break this CD into pieces," I say to myself. And, djinga-djinga-djinga-djinga, there it is. But for some reason I just can't get myself to push the stop button. There's something that makes me want to listen to the next song. Maybe it's the beat-based build-ups, maybe it's the vocals that remind me of both Frank Black (The Pixies) and Stephen Malkmus (Pavement), maybe it's the bleepy-to-organ keyboards on Into The Storm / Out To The Sea, maybe it's the purposefully awkward bit in Throwing Rice. Whatever it is, it makes me listen to the whole CD. More than once. I alternatively hate it and love it. But if I have to listen to just one more repetitive single-chord guitar part...

Info: The Hibernauts | Connect: MySpace
Finger Eleven / Them Vs. You Vs. Me

I realize that Finger Eleven is now considered mainstream and that Them Vs. You Vs. Me has recently gone platinum, but that doesn't mean it's not worth listening to. The fact is that it's a well played and produced album, and even though some of the songs are getting a little too much exposure on the radio (in this city), it doesn't detract from the quality of the songs. Strong bass lines, likable guitar riffs, a few ear-catching changes, a few non-standard instruments, and good vocal melodies. Not every song is something I want to hear repeatedly, but there are definitely a few (and since I listen to the radio, I've heard two of them lots). I'm sure there are some people reading this and thinking "Oh, come on". Maybe you've already made up your mind about Finger Eleven. But the title track says it all.

Info: Finger Eleven | Connect: MySpace

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