YEAR RELEASED: 1989
CHART ACTION: #89 US, #33 UK (All on re-release in 1992)
SINGLES: Love Buzz
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Let’s see: not at the time, but now About a Girl at the very very least.
LINEUP: Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, Chad Channing
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Realtively unknown Seattle-area trio records album for $606.17 for release on Sub Pop and hopes for the best.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: You can hear it. You can hear it in “Blew”. You definitely can hear it in “About a Girl” and “Love Buzz”. The seeds of Nevermind are here contained in a very grungy package.
How grungy? A song like “School” or “Negative Creep” would definitely fit right next to Mudhoney or Tad. At the time, that sound was Seattle’s little secret, where only those in the know, knew, and the rest of the punters were singing along to Warrant and Cinderella.
Cobain’s guitar work is versatile – loud and riff-tastic when needed, but complex and gentle when called for. Novoselic’s bass fits right in with Cobain’s guitar. Kurt’s vocals are more on the shreddy side than singing side.
Bleach is not just notable for who the band is, but as a stand-alone piece of Seattle grunge. That’s OK in and of itself. The songwriting is kind of lazy at times – just a simple riff and simple screaming of simple lyrics. Still, you can crank it and scare the neighbors if you want.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Love Buzz” was originally done by the Shocking Blue – the same group that hit big with “Venus” in the early 70’s
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. A live set from that era is appended onto it. The outtakes and B-sides all wound up on Incesticide for the most part.
GRADE: B+: A great first step to become NIRVANA, yet it’s good as a regular record.