Review Summary: The most angry, raw and pure Nirvana album out of the full lengths. Better than Nevermind but on par with In Utero. Kurt, Chad and Krist were OG and definitely rocking well on this.
Drinking bleach will cause serious stomach ache. Nirvana were a very heavy grunge band but I very much doubt that Kurt was interested in anything other than heroin (and pharmaceuticals, milk and cigarettes).
Born in Seattle and suffering with an already twisted mind set, the band released their debut album in 1989 and in my opinion, this is their best full length out of the three. The main reason is the primitive and raw sound, musicianship and attitude. Floyd the Barber is a controlled, distorted mess of guitars and heavy drumming mixed with ferocious vocals from a very young Cobain. The more light and easy going numbers (particularly About a Girl) are pleasant classics but the real gems of Bleach are the really nasty and evil sounding tracks. Negative Creep, Downer and Sifting are amongst the band's finest works. In short, this is the most pure blissfully wonderful grunge album of 1989. The SubPop version was good but the deluxe version is even better.
It is true to an extent that Nirvana burnt out quickly in the space of their musical tenure. But the impact of the music that the trio (excluding Mr. Grohl) helped to pioneer pretty much inspired every grunge fan born in 1990.
Daddy's little girl isn't a girl no more apparently. This is raw, aggressive, dangerously violent and lyrically psychotic at times. The production gives it a very metallic, crust punk feel. The timings aren't polyrhythmic (that didn't exist in the 80's or 90's) but the purity of the soul that Kurt endeavoured to share with the world is present on Bleach on every track. However, when he "shot" himself in 1994, he was my age. Far too young. They say drugs kill you but I think it is pretty obvious that Kurt was unhappy with the fame that Nevermind brought. In utero is a classic in my eyes these days and the greatest hits is the equivalent of a private gig with Kurt in lucid dreams.
In essence, everyone knows Nirvana translates to mean Bliss. I've been compared to Cobain in many ways (addict, guitarist, lyricist, dip*** good-for-nothing-homeless-bastard) but I wondered why he was just so ***ed up. I've read his journals and biographies several times and when I was ten years old and saw Nirvana on Kerrang and Scuzz I was instantly hooked. I've never stuck a needle in my vein (intuitively or to inject illicit substances) but obviously traumatic people suffer with severe mental health issues. Look at Trent Reznor. Look at Tool. 80's thrash. 60's Progressive rock
bands from the UK have done everything on drugs but because they are celebrities nothing happens.
I've been partial to cannabis, ketamine, PCP, cocaine (and crack), heroin, MDMA, acid, mushrooms, DMT, the lot...
But the drugs don't help. They just make you feel different. I've watched some of my best friends die because of drugs but it is life. I've been a drug addict for 16 years. And I will always love Nirvana (Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam were more varied) for the pure brilliance of Kurt and company. Conclusively, I'd say this is their best album. Nevermind ruined Kurt. In Utero let him put his past to rest.
RIP Kurt. Don't let Foo Fighters eclipse you in your grave. He surrendered his heart, brain, mind, body and soul and poured everything into a pot of steaming ***. He was a man-witch (left-handed) but he literally destroyed himself by becoming mainstream. I can play every song on guitar, bass, drums and know every lyric and tonal range Kurt ever wrote. Thing is, I think souls rest in peace if they are remembered. Kurt was a genius. But he was just bored of living.
Floyd the Barber