As a debut album, Foo Fighters is robust, audaciously self-assured sing-along power pop pitched somewhere between Cheap Trick’s chain-saw Beatlerama and the big, barbed howl of Hüsker Dü. As ex-Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl’s return to active duty following the suicide of his band mate Kurt Cobain, it is an album remarkably free of bitterness and self-recrimination. While he delivers the vocal salvo in “I’ll Stick Around” — “I don’t owe you anything!” — with a conviction that suggests much of the music comes from deep source material, the might and melody Grohl (who wrote, sang and played nearly every note on the record) puts into his songs is the stuff of new beginnings.
Too much has been made of Silverchair’s tender years and the Aussie trio’s superficial resemblances to Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. So who’s truly original when they’re 16? Truly shameless wanna-be’s like Bush should be so lucky to have the hard smarts that Silverchair — particularly the band’s main writers, singer-guitarist Daniel Johns and drummer Ben Gillies — show on such Frogstomp-ers as “Pure Massacre” and “Israel’s Son.” When these guys turn 18, they’ll really be dangerous.