It is not documented that the phenomena that is Sub-Pop seemingly began in some Seattle garage with a banged-up Marshall amp, an out-of-tune Stratocaster and a cheap distortion pedal, but that could probably be considered close. Well, everyone has their own opinion about Sub-Pop, but one thing that can not be doubted is the success of Nirvana.
Now, the term “success” can easily be unseen, that sinister undertow for a band not treading those treacherous waters of mainstreamdom. Well, Nirvana grabbed at a golden opportunity and signed to Geffen Records.
Major label — major sellout? Questions have to be answered and Nevermind is clearly out-of-control, distorted state of spiraling euphoria. This album, it seems, is a test, a test to separate true Nirvana fans from trend-trippers. Nevermind is a gleefully garish prison of acoustic and distorted loose grunge that speeds along, brakeless, plunging your auditory senses into a constantly reverberating feeling of bliss. Unfortunately, it seems that many people will dislike this album because it is more of a maturation of their sound. After all, Bleach was a benchmark for the grunge phenomena.
I would agree with that, but Nevermind is so much of a positive progression and polishing of their perpetual sound that is seemingly slaps you into their reality like that of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” — tactile. This spank and crank over-distorted anthem is screaming, smashing, hypnotic — an end-all epic. It is a clear definition of the Nirvana experience.
Like what you just read? Support Flagpole by making a donation today. Every dollar you give helps fund our ongoing mission to provide Athens with quality, independent journalism.