(San Francisco Chronicle)


When child actors grow up, they stick up convenience-store clerks and star in poorly produced porn videos. But what becomes of their musical counterparts? This week a pair of prepubescent bands from the '90s return with albums that might have the answer. In their 2.5 million-selling prime, Australia's Silverchair was like a Playskool version of Nirvana, mining all the Seattle band's glory without any of the actual guts. A decade later, the trio is still chasing trends - in this case the sweeping, orchestral pop of Coldplay and Keane - and still making it sound oddly convincing. With Beach Boys/Joanna Newsom collaborator Van Dyke Parks on board, the group even manages a pair of transcendental moments on the independently produced "Young Modern" with "If You Keep Losing Sleep" and a dynamic three-song suite that opens with "Those Thieving Birds, Part 1." Silverchair's family-friendly American counterpart, Hanson (left), similarly recorded, produced and released its latest album unaided.