From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah

CD Cover Nirvana

Review by Rodney Gitzel

45-second excerpt from "Drain You" (351 Kb .au file)

I have long been waiting for a live album from Nirvana, thinking that it would capture... something... something I never did and never will have the chance to experience. But this isn't that album.

Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl put this collection together from hundreds of tapes, and that's the problem: it's a collection. It's not a recording of a live Nirvana show, but rather a 'greatest hits' package in the guise of a live album.

Admittedly, there are some good moments: the first few songs sound raw and alive, like I would expect Nirvana to sound, live. But a lot of the songs sound like demos. Recorded directly off the sound board, these songs have no crowd noise, no ambience... they might have been recorded in a hotel room on a 4-track for all we know.

Surprisingly, too, the songs are predominantly direct copies of their album counterparts, and they offer nothing new. On top of this, about the most you hear from the band outside the songs is the occasional "thank-you." Maybe that's all they ever said, I don't know, I never did see them perform live (no, I was not one of the 10 people to see the band play the Bronx in Edmonton on the Nevermind tour).

What I do know is that this disc does NOT give me a good sense of what a Nirvana show was like, and that's disappointing. Or, if this is what they really were like, then it's just as well I never did see them.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on November 15, 1996

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