Tuesday, 22 April 2008



I can still remember the buzz that attached itself to the release of this record. The summer of 1993 was far from my fondest or greatest moment and it came with very few highlights as I step towards the abyss unguided and without friend or influence. I had locked myself into a small version of the world (a smell version of existence) that was just not plausible in the grand scheme of things.

As the summer came to a close and I shambled towards the age of seventeen and almost an adult one of the few optimistic and exciting gifts was the prospect of a new Nirvana record and when this the first single finally surfaced I can still remember the buzz on MTV for the first play of the weird video and how it did indeed sound very different to Nevermind (and Bleach). I have to concede at first I felt disappointed, it sounded weird on purpose and my gut instinct was that this was not very good. I would be a fucking liar if I told you I knew who Steve Albini was at the time and so are the majority of people who make comment now to that extent.

Even if the guitars (worse) and the drums (better) sounded different there was no denying the quiet loud quiet dynamic remained the same. This was a visceral and natural reaction to the world around me. The line “I’ve got a new complaint” particularly resonated.

It was actually the b-side “Milk It” that created most interest for me. The song is just a big defiant charge going from one extreme to the other and fully exhibiting the new method in which the rhythm section had been recorded and how towering it now sounded. There was no song on Bleach or Nevermind that sounded like this one.

The single plays out with “Marigold” which proved the first (and only) Nirvana song with Dave on vocals. At first it seemed/felt like a good thing but ultimately you can’t help but feel it encouraged the drummer to act/perform above his station. That said I really liked the song, felt it was tender and beautiful again not like anything the band had previously recorded. He put a spell on me.

Somebody said the other day that one of Kurt’s ideas for the video was to have him fucking William S. Burroughs. Is that really true?

It had been a tough summer.

Thesaurus moment: recur.


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