Thursday, February 20, 2014

Son Of A Gee

The only reason I don't write more about Nirvana on this blog is because there would just be so damn much to write about. So instead I just throw out bits and pieces periodically. With today being Two2014, and with Hall of Fame talk and 20th-anniversary-of-death talk floating around, I am in another N-phase, this time revisiting Incesticide.

The 'cest was always my favorite. A year after the band broke big, they released this EP that for whatever reason wasn't promoted much. It was like having my own private little* Nirvana "album" to get me through that winter of my last year of high school and my first job. Even within my own school, the band never got that popular. I'm sure a lot of schools were suddenly draped in flannel the day after Smells Like Teen Spirit came out, but ours was so straight-laced and stiff, the few of us who got into the band actually remained a pretty exclusive club. It was pretty much me and Pat and Trevor and the couple of stoner kids who knew the band from the Bleach days. It would still be a few more years before the eleven-year olds of my town were dying their hair and skateboarding. Almost like a culture-shift hand grenade. It was a glorious time in the relatively brief moment that grenade was still hanging in the air.

I'm not gonna do a complete review of Incesticide--my point is that it was special to me because it showed the many sides of the band. The kids who didn't buy this record were left with that one image of Nirvana from Nevermind, while the rest of us got to see that this band was into some weirder shit and had a sense of humor too. You could finally tell exactly what they meant in that famous bio:

All in all we sound like The Knack and the Bay City Rollers being molested by Black Flag and Black Sabbath.

We got a lot of the Bleach-era sludge, and we got short, poppy numbers too. The genius of Kurt Cobain is right here: Taking a song by the Vaselines that sounds like a cross between utopian children's music and a tune you'd hear on a Time-Life 60s British Invasion comp, and turning it into a rollicking blink-and-you-missed-it punk romp. [Vaselines version.] [Nirvana version.]

I also like the fact that they changed the first line of a cover song.

Since this record meant so much to me at the time, it was always really hard for me to listen to after Kurt died. At that time I threw all my legit Nirvana releases into a box and focused on bootlegs and newer releases. These last few days is actually the most I've listened to my favorite Nirvana release in 20 years. If you never bought it, it's not too late to join the secret club.

*Yes, it sold 4 million copies, but by comparison Nevermind sold 31 million.


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Location: Rhode Island, United States