Nirvana - From The Muddy Banks Of Wishkah
The electric smashes and thrashes compiled on 'From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah' were originally intended as half of a double album; the other half would have been the acoustic show released as 'MTV Unplugged in New York'. But after Kurt Cobain's death, 'Unplugged' was released on its own, and the task of putting together a live electric disc was put aside for a couple years. Completed, 'From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah' (named for a river that cuts through Nirvana's hometown, Aberdeen, Washington) serves as a perfect mirror to 'Unplugged'. Where that one offered a recontextualisation of Nirvana's oeuvre, this one offers a reaffirmation of the band's raw power. All the elements that made the band a legend are present here: piledriver rhythm section, scabrous guitar work that combines a Neil Young-ish tone with a punk sensibility, and Cobain's anguished, sandpaper vocal delivery. Many of Nirvana's best-known songs are included in versions that double the intensity and aggression (and sometimes the speed) of the original recordings. 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' finds the band charging at a pace that suggests its life depends on reaching the end of the song. 'Scentless Apprentice' is a raging howl that makes the original version sound like a beer commercial.