Nirvana Nevermind

*This review originally ran in the August 1991, The Flannel Issue of Savage Henry Magazine

Seattle band Nirvana has released what will undoubtedly go down as one of the more derivative recordings of the early ‘90s. While their pop-punk sound is safe and inoffensive, Nevermind serves as more of a tribute to an era passed than offer anything original.

First track (and lead single) “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is a horrid attempt at the quiet/loud/quiet dynamic perfected by the Pixies. Taken out of context, “Drain You” could be an engaging listen; that is, if the middle section didn’t sound like a discarded outtake from Sonic Youth’s mid-’80s output. Lead vocalist and songwriter Kurt Cobain doesn’t have anything new to say, and instead rambles off vague poetic nonsense in a forgettable snarling voice.

Nevermind is doomed to lead a secluded life, playing only on college radio stations and nerdy record-collector’s turntables. With major label funding and 1989s promising debut (Bleach), Nevermind could’ve been Nirvana’s ticket out of indie anonymity. Instead, we’re left with a hot stinking turd, dressed up in Butch Vig’s unnecessarily layered production.

Rating: 3 out of 12 cans of PBR!!!

About Ben Allen

Our music editor Ben Allen was born one stormy evening in a quaint Northern California coastal village. Upon birth he was immediately exposed to the soothing analog sounds of artists such as Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Captain Beefheart and Santana. As the lad grew, so did his appreciation for an assortment of abrasive hard rock. A pubescent flirtation with butt metal was shattered in the early 1990’s by exposure to Nirvana and other so-called “Alternative” bands. While in college, our protagonist became a DJ on a local station, and began work as a freelance music journalist. During this period he became entranced with artists such as Tortoise, Slint, Modest Mouse, Guided By Voices and Pavement. Currently Allen resides in Arcata, CA where he continues to obsess and salivate over new recordings by his favorite artists. He works with music industry people to ensure that Savage Henry’s contributors receive music and other promotional materials. He also writes a silly monthly list titled “Ben’s 10.”

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