Newest Review: ... Cuts' and 'Downer' there is an urgency and intensity in Kurt's vocals that is unsurpassed anywhere else in the rock world. There is al... more
In My Ears, It's Worth Listening
Bleach - Nirvana
Member Name: scream4bruce
Bleach - Nirvana
Advantages: Catchy riffs and beats, strong vocals, the pop - influenced 'About A Girl'
Disadvantages: Some songs can be rather average at times, claustrophobic - sounding
Bleach has a 3-piece rock band sound - Jason Everman, whom is credited on guitars, does not play a note on the album (but pays the 600 notes to cover the cost of the recording), so when it's guitar solo time for Kurt Cobain (front man), Chris Novoselic (bass) and Chad Channing (drums) carry the rhythm for the majority of the tracks, with Dale Crover as drummer for the remainder. The album goes down under the genre of grunge, and despite on initial listenings finding some of the songs sounding (perhaps too) similar, I guess my tastes in metal is why I prefer this to their successful Nevermind. Bleach does have a fair share of catchy riffs and beats in amongst the thirteen tracks, but the low production values does make the album small-sounding, so the audio aspect does not pack a powerful punch.
The album begins on a low, that is, the low bass notes of this song, where the guitars have been tuned two tones down - supposedly somebody made the mistake of detuning the guitars twice (must have been tuning by frets?). Not that it harms the song - the chorus still has it's vocal harmony! - but rather makes the sound heavier. One of two songs released as a single, and as an introduction, gives a good idea of what to expect from the rest of the album.
2. FLOYD THE BARBER; 6. PAPER CUTS
Dale Crover plays the drums on these (the other being the closer, 'Downer') - both are tracks with synchronised guitar chugs to drums. In 'Paper Cuts', the piercing open strings cut through for guitars hunching over and Kurt's shrieks which, you'll find to be awfully amusing, or find makes for awful audio. (I'm of the former.)
3. ABOUT A GIRL
This would have been an obvious choice of single, yet it's inclusion in the album alone was seen as risky - trading metal-blows for pop-hooks; this song was about a girl, and it's Kurt's love of pop that shines through. A highlight of the album, where jangly two-chord verses marry pop melodies - "I do", listen for the chord shift to that an octave higher driving the chorus on.
4. SCHOOL; 7. NEGATIVE CREEP; 8. SCOFF
Three good songs, where Chad Channing uses a double kick pedal to a single kick drum! A driving open string riff sees 'School' at play; whilst 'Negative Creep' opts for the slides as it palm-mutes said string, with a fiercely ferocious vocal from Kurt, singing as if everything depended on it - only letting up on the intensity slightly as the song fades out at the end. Meanwhile, in 'Scoff', "give me back my alcohol" demands Kurt, or he'll scream and let loose Chad on the kick pedal (which he does)! Had there been a vocal harmony to the chorus that might have helped swing 'Scoff' towards being my pick of the album.
5. LOVE BUZZ
Their debut single (albeit minus an introduction); a cover of a song by Shocking Blue. The bass riff is an obvious attraction to the song, but with the noodling about, it's not a song which I'm that fond of.
Much of the songs on this album are around the three minute mark; 'Sifting' is close to five and a half minutes, and it's moderately paced, but I like the simple chugging guitar riffs. It would have been great if there were an audible vocal harmony for me!
The tracks which I haven't mentioned I found to be average listens, but there was enough in them for me not to skip them, like 'Swap Meet' with a guitar solo that goes one better than that of the previous track 'Scoff', and 'Big Cheese' with it's daunting guitar volume-swell introduction. A cool debut album from Nirvana; unfortunately no lyrics provided for me to sing along to!
Summary: Bleach by Nirvana