Today you can land yourself a free tattoo down at Silver Platter Records in SoDo when you buy the deluxe reissue of Nirvana’s 1993 album, In Utero. You can buy any of the CDs ranging from the basic to the deluxe box set. Then, your adoration of Nirvana becomes permanent with the band’s iconic black smiley face thanks to Three Kings Tattoo.
Now, on a personal level, I believe In Utero is by far Nirvana’s most powerful collection of songs. 1989’s Bleach was threatening with low-end punk scorchers like “Negative Creep” and erratic, schizophrenic noisemakers like “Scoff” — but by no means was the album groundbreaking. Bleach was just one in the mid-to-late 80s litter of misfit, dark-sounding punk (eventually deemed “grunge”). 1991’s Nevermind, well, was, uh, Nevermind. There hasn’t been anything like it; an album that may have pushed punk rock into the mainstream all by itself. Every song on that album has been played millions of times on FM radio across the globe. Incesticide, a collection of rarities, b-sides and covers, is terrific, but clearly shows how all over the map the band was before putting a package deal (full-length album) together.
In Utero is a collection of 12 songs that all essentially say “F*** you” to the culture that had kidnapped Nirvana from Seattle right as Nevermind launched the band into uncharted territory.
Producer Steve Albini went out of his way to make sure the sound was deep, raw and did away with any hooks Nevermind may have had. The opening track, “Serve the Servants,” rattles with Kurt Cobain’s lackadaisical vocals coasting over a riff buried under feedback and Dave Grohl’s mountain of drums. With the exception of “Dumb” and “All Apologies,” the band roars through taboo, obnoxiously-noisy anthems like “Milk It” and “tourette’s.”
I love it.
What is your favorite song on this album?
-Chris Coyle, KZOK