Historically, America’s north-west coast has produced edgy, rebellious music, of which grunge was one manifestation. An offspring of punk, speed metal and the ‘slacker’ lifestyle, it found an apotheosis in Nirvana, who combined such elements with a faultless grasp of hooklines. On Nevermind, group leader Kurt Cobain unleashed frustrated alienation, his ravaged rasp and bone-crunching guitar soaring through a tight, intensive sound, courtesy of former hardcore producer Butch Vig. Cobain’s solipsism proved tragically prophetic and his suicide elevated him to cultural icon status. This should not obscure the singer’s empathy for the mechanics of classic rock, reworked and infused with new life on this emphatic statement.
Tracks: Smells Like Teen Spirit; In Bloom; Come As You Are; Breed; Lithium; Polly; Territorial Pissings; Drain You; Lounge Act; Stay Away; On A Plain; Something In The Way; Endless Nameless....