Is It Shit? Nevermind by Nirvana

Nevermind by Nirvana; September 24,1991

Everyone in Generation X should remember when this album dropped. I vaguely do, but since I was two years old it all blends together. This band was instrumental in changing the music landscape. Yes, alternative rock existed before this album but it was relegated to college radio stations and quirky coffee shops. When Nirvana hit it big, the world changed. Alternative rock wasn’t just something seen to be a sideshow, it was real and it was here. Grunge started in the Seattle area and it spread slowly but surely. Nirvana formed in 1987 in a small city in Washington State called Aberdeen. In 1989, Nirvana released Bleach on the Sub Pop label. Today, while it may seem dated, Nevermind was at the time the biggest thing to hit rock.

The album opens with Smells Like Teen Spirit. The song makes one want to strike up a revolution, and perhaps that’s what Kurt had in mind. The song opens with that memorable riff and goes from there. Even today alternative radio plays this song. Smells… has staying power. In Bloom follows and like the first track, it has power. Any person into grunge might tell you that this is in their top favorites. Overall the song follows a simple template. Kurt’s vocals are raw and edgy here, just like on Smells…

Come as You Are is the third track here and it was a major single. The riff is very similar, if not identical to the riff on Eighties, a song by Killing Joke. The song is powerful. No, I’m not going to post lyrics as you probably already know them. The doom and gloom is all over this track, typical of grunge. I am impressed at the way this band works. They may not be flawless, but they are almost close enough. Breed is a fast-paced number that seems like a party song. So, as far as we’re concerned this album lives up to its reputation. Lithium was a major single off Nevermind and is still in rotation today. I get the impression that he’s talking about his bipolar depression here. Nevertheless, this is a fine track to listen to when you want to get stuff done.

The most controversial track is next. Polly, a song about a fourteen-year-old girl who was raped with a blowtorch. The song has this gloomy atmosphere that brings everybody down. Whether it’s the lyrics or guitar work. Polly has also been around since the band began, I’ve read. Territorial Pissings follows and is introduced with the chorus of Get Together by The Youngbloods. I wasn’t very impressed with Drain You, as almost everybody who brings up Nirvana on the radio plays this. I mean it’s a decent track, but still it’s overplayed.

Lounge Act is a strange song, at least in its introduction. I can’t tell if Kurt’s groaning or something else. Stay Away is another track I really like on this album. Maybe perhaps there was larger potential here, as it does scream single material. On a Plain makes one think about themselves. Good stuff. Finally, we come to Something in the Way. This is a downer of a song. When it’s over, you’re wondering why you listened to it.

But wait…

What’s that at the end?

Why it’s a hidden track! Endless, Nameless is almost nonsensical, but it is an entertaining listen. Kurt’s screams of anguish make for interesting stuff. Not every copy of this album has this hidden track. The first 50,000 copies didn’t and the later pressings didn’t as well.

Is Nevermind shit?

If you’re into alternative rock and grunge, you might consider this album cliché. The impact this band and this album had on the world is enormous. Nirvana inspired so many bands during their short eight years on the music scene. Grunge also gave birth to post-grunge. In the pyramid of grunge, Nirvana are at the top. Kurt is a genius who never liked being a star. He just sang his heart out and people listened.


Sammy P


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