You can abuse them, lie to them, or even not associate with them, but just don’twait till “Tomorrow” to check out the teen wonders from “downunder,” Silverchair, because they won’t be around very long. At the ripe oldage of seventeen, having toured the world three times, Australia’s best-keptsecret will be crawling back into the pouch soon enough.

The band’s latestrelease, “Freakshow,” may mark their last major effort to leave behindtheir musical adolescence and move onto adulthood. But, somehow, they’ve failed.Those fans of the catchy “Tomorrow,” heavy “Israel’s Son,” oreven the slamming “Pure Massacre,” won’t be happy with what the bandhas become. If there ever really was a “sophomore curse,” thenSilverchair have met their fate.

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The album begins on a dark note, andcontinues with the macabre track “Slave.” In a teenage plea for self-esteem,vocalist Daniel Johns pitifully sings, “Lost my soul, lost my confidence inme.”

The characteristic and funkish “Freak” is the band’sslated second single. Catchy nonsense though it is, this one might keep the bandaround just a bit longer. Yes, folks. they may have another hit inthem.

First single “Abuse Me” sports a lame video that hasreceived anything but full rotation on MTV. If you’ve heard the first verse,you’ve heard the entire song. It’s catchy, but then again, so were the NewKids.

Ever thought six lines could be an entire song? Not many of us have,but “Lie To Me” is. It’s heavy, the chords are catchy, the lyrics arelame, but does it work? It doesn’t!

“I’ll give you click clickboom” say the youths in the ballad, “Cemetery.” What language isthat?

All jokes aside, Silverchair’s tunes are driven by heavy bass linesand catchy music. But the band’s downfall isn’t their music, their baseteenage-diary ready lyrics are.

“Pop Song For Us Rejects” (nicetitle!) has its moments, true, and it could even be a single. Though its strength(in relation to the album’s other tunes) is shattered by its follower,”Learn To Hate.” “Take the time to learn to hate” screamsJohns in his Australian-tinted voice that turns “mass debate,” in oneof the song’s lines, into, well, you figure that one out for yourself.

Thefinal inclusion of a CD extra is a tour of the Freakshow: live-band footage,interviews, a band bio, and a history of the circus freakshow. It’s well done,informative, and a nice “collector’s item.” If you can sneak a peek,do, it’s worth it.

Silverchair’s musicianship is solid, and the band hasbrought some attention to other talented young artists, as well.”Freakshow” isn’t exactly worthy of its title: it does have itsmoments.

Though, from their morbid, dull lyrics and new musical direction,some may begin to wonder whether Silverchair’s careers will be over beforepuberty.

Thinking of buying “Freakshow”? Save your cash: it’llbe on the bargain racks soon enough! .