NIRVANA

Pulse! - December 1989.

Heavy Meditation

By Richard T. White.


Nirvana is no longer a realm you achieve through meditation or asceticism. Nirvana's what you get from a fine record or a great show, and generally speaking the louder the better. Nirvana's latest heavy hitter to emerge from the stables of Seattle's Sub-Pop label. New-agey name aside, the band hits you somewhere between solar plexus and your frontal lobes with a burst of guitar grunge. It's laid over a drum cadence stolen straight from an abandoned pile driver. Nirvana's first release is titled Bleach and it's gonna thoroughly scrub your aural sensors.

"We've been making this sound for three years up in Aberdeen where we all come from," says Kobain. "I think the music is pretty accessible for as heavy and as hard as it is. This heavy music is seeping into society. Rock'n'roll is not even an alternative anymore. Just listen to a beer commercial; it's all around."

Adds drummer Chad Channing, "I think that people now are finally admitting that they like different styles of music. Most of my friends are into making compilation tapes with a lot of diverse bands on them, and finally stepping out of a tight musical framework."

Pretty much the pattern for a Nirvana recording session. "We always like to have a good grabbag of songs," says bassist Chris Novoselic, "instead of just every song just pounding, pounding, pounding, even though we may still have the same guitar sound and heavy drums and such." Kobain says, "I think it is easy to write one hit song and then write an album's worth of retreads that just sort of feed off of that. We are trying not to do that. We want the songs on our records to be different and away from where the previous song was. We want an album you can listen to, not just rock out to."