Themes From Great Cities

It might have come to your attention that I'm not a regular poster of love and understanding, which you will just have to get used to. I will however, have bursts of creativity where I move completely randomly from post to post with no rhyme or reason. I have recently posted a few singles (7 & 12”) and the odd bootleg which have been received very well by all who visit. More of the same will continue as you, dear readers, seem to be enjoying them.

Some of the rips are my own, but many more are from other blogs and I’m just sharing the wealth. If other bloggers out there wish to share the rips from my posts, please as I do, host them yourself. To combat this, the FLAC files that are over 6 months old will be replaced with MP3 files.

Finally I am happy to re-up old posts where the link has expired. Please comment in the relevant posts comments box.


Oh Well, Whatever...

Due to a take down notice the links have been deleted...

Nevermind was never meant to change the world, but you can never predict when the Zeitgeist will hit, and Nirvana's second album turned out to be the place where alternative rock crashed into the mainstream. This wasn't entirely an accident, either, since Nirvana did sign with a major label, and they did release a record with a shiny surface, no matter how humongous the guitars sounded. And, yes, Nevermind is probably a little shinier than it should be, positively glistening with echo and fuzzbox distortion, especially when compared with the black-and-white murk of Bleach. This doesn't discount the record, since it's not only much harder than any mainstream rock of 1991, its character isn't on the surface, it's in the exhilaratingly raw music and haunting songs. Kurt Cobain's personal problems and subsequent suicide naturally deepen the dark undercurrents, but no matter how much anguish there is on Nevermind, it's bracing because he exorcises those demons through his evocative wordplay and mangled screams -- and because the band has a tremendous, unbridled power that transcends the pain, turning into pure catharsis. And that's as key to the record's success as Cobain's songwriting, since Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl help turn this into music that is gripping, powerful, and even fun (and, really, there's no other way to characterize "Territorial Pissings" or the surging "Breed"). In retrospect, Nevermind may seem a little too unassuming for its mythic status -- it's simply a great modern punk record -- but even though it may no longer seem life-changing, it is certainly life-affirming, which may just be better.

It has been 25 years since Kurt Cobain and company revitalised an increasingly moribund rock genre with their breakout grunge masterpiece. Perusing the original inner-sleeve photos, it immediately strikes me that Cobain is more smiling, podgy and playful than his reconfigured image as a doomed and tortured artist allows. There is a mischievousness to Nevermind, immediately apparent on the album cover photo of a baby swimming after a dollar bill on a hook. But there is anger too, and sadness at the corruption of innocence, emotions which surge out of the speakers in the thrilling electric charge of Smells Like Teen Spirit.
The elusive yet somehow tangible truths in Cobain’s songwriting are located in the sound and the fury, the hurting tone of his voice, the alternately deadpan introversion and raw rage of his delivery. Addressing (and rebelling against) generational despair, Nirvana perform as if it is a matter of life and death, which retrospect tells us it really was.
The songs remain the same, boiling rock’s colours down to something almost monochrome, primal and essential. Nirvana cut through the self-consciousness of Eighties rock with the pop nous of Abba. These songs are short, melodic and hook-laden, performed with distilled economy by a perfectly balanced power trio. Krist Novoselic’s bass lines are liquid and mesmerising, Dave Grohl’s drums are frenzied yet direct, the grungy fuzz of Cobain’s rhythm guitar is adorned by elegant, fluid lead motifs. Much was made of the group’s loud/quiet dynamic, but their simple template embodies a world of contrasts: intimate and expansive, melancholic and furious, deep and meaningless. And Cobain’s voice carries us through his complex interior world like a spirit guide.
It’s an album undiminished by time, which can still make me want to throw myself around an imaginary mosh pit or curl up in a fetal ball.

How the music scene could do with something like this right now.

Ripped from a dirty, stained and well love 1991 CD to FLAC and MP3 @ 320kbps

Nirvana; Nevermind

1.     Smells Like Teen Spirit
2.     In Bloom
3.     Come As You Are
4.     Breed
5.     Lithium
6.     Polly
7.     Territorial Pissings
8.     Drain You
9.     Lounge Act
10.Stay Away
11.On A Plain
12.Something In The Way


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