Sound — 8
Whether you were still mourning the death of Kurt Cobain or following the endeavours of Pearl Jam, it is impossible to forget the honest, clear and aggressive cries of Silverchair's debut album Frogstomp. What amazes most about Frogstomp is not the brilliance of the album: it is the simple fact that many of the featured songs were written when the boys were a tender fourteen years old. Frogstomp revealed a maturity about Silverchair, particulary in the singing and songwriting of frontman Daniel Johns, which has yet to be equally matched in any teenage rock outfit since it's release. However, the album alone produces some memorable sounds. The guitars sound embracingly distorted, the drums crash and smash with absolute thunder and Daniel Johns voice sounds as if he could be in his mid-twenties. Many of the tunes are catchy and 'Tomorrow' was one of the biggest selling Australian singles of all time, making number one on the 'Triple J Hottest 100'. Possibly the best song on the album is the overwhelming 'Isreal's Son': an angry anthem of hate which reaches it's climax with several gutteral screams from Johns in a moment which can only be described as rock and roll gold.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrical side of Frogstomp is promising. It is pleasing to note that there are no corny teenage witcisms about being "Skater Dudes," which is usually the case with most young artists (think Avril Lavinge's "Sk8er Boi") and some of the lyrics contain some substance. In particular "Isreal's Son" and "Faultline" create powerful images. "Faultline" was inspired by the famous Newcastle earthquake and tells the story of separated friends who are unable to be united by the earthquake. Unlike John's later lyrical style, which at times can be oblique, the lyrics on Frogstomp are honest and simple. However, John's sometimes struggles to say anything in some of his songs. This is particularly evident in the slower "Shade" where John's comments: "If you're abused, find someone to help you" and then goes on to blantantly say "Don't go hiding in the shade." These minor glitches do not taint the overall effect of the album
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, Frogstomp is a terrific album. The songs do not become tiresome or simplistic after many listens. The initial amazement does not wear off and the album offers much playback. The songs link and tie in greatly with one another. It is better not to think of this album as grunge as it offers so much more than that. It is an example of a classic album by a great Australian band.