Nirvana’s Nevermind Tribute Album Review

This is a guest post authored by Chuck Vespucci

Yes, it's been almost 20 years!!!

SPIN has released a collection of artists covering Nirvana’s Nevermind album. As we are nearing the 20th anniversary of said albums release I think we may want to prepare ourselves for a heavy push of consumer nostalgia. Thankfully this collection is FREE via SPIN.

Here is a track-by-track review.

Smell’s Like Teen Spirit – Meat Puppets
It sounds like the Meat Puppets covering Nirvana. Sad.

In Bloom – Butch Walker and the Black Widows
Nirvana filtered through the mixing console of Butch. I almost listened to the entire track.

Come As You Are – Midnight Juggernauts
Awesome. A novel interpretation of a modern classic. I couldn’t even recognize the original track until the vocals started. Good Job!

Breed – Titus Andronicus
This sounds like an audition for a distortion/wah pedal. Imagine the original recording without the fabulous production, great performances and raw power.

Lithium – The Vaselines
Ewwww (in a good way) – Haunting and subtle. They almost sound like they knew what they were doing.

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Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part Two Review

These grandpa's been rapping since '83.

If you are at all like me–a long-time devoted fan of the Beastie Boys and their groundbreaking career–then there is a good chance that you have been a little disappointed with the group’s output since the release of Hello Nasty. It’s not that Hello Nasty is a bad album, it’s actually quite eclectic and experimental (which is saying something for these guys), it’s just that it might have moved a little too far away from the Beastie Boys we grew up with and had grown accustomed to with Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head, and Ill Communication. Their subsequent output, To the 5 Boroughs & The Mix-Up, were hit-or-miss at best. The band definitely seemed to be losing some creative steam as we reluctantly began to wonder, “is the best Beastie Boys music behind us?”

To say that Hot Sauce Committee Part Two is a return-to-form or a comeback album might be overstating its value. But once you hear the first Clavinet notes and beat of “Make Some Noise” you can’t help but nod your head, smile, and think, “yea, this is what it’s all about. This is the Beastie’s Boys I know and love.” HSC2 is definitely the bands best overall album since Ill Communication.

The Beastie’s have always been hipster darlings and musical (and cultural) trend setters. In short, from 1986-1999, there was no cooler band in the world. Funky, 70’s-instrumentals? Check. Creative and unique sounds? Check. Witty, pop culture referencing rhymes? Check. Incredible studio production? Check.  And of course, great songs: Check your head!  HSC2 mashes up the Beastie Boys 90’s output with just enough new school bleeps and blips to keep the album sounding fresh and current while still maintaining that, dare I say, classic Beastie Boys style till the break of dawn. If you don’t nod your head during “Nonstop Disco Powerpack” then just hit the stop button now.

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