In the wake of all the “alternative” crap that followed, it's easy to forget just how awesome Nirvana was, but re-listening to Bleach with visions of that iconic Sassy photo shoot dancing in your head can serve as a great reminder. Like most of us it was Smells Like Teen Spirit and the Nevermind album (purchased at the local Walmart) that first got me into the Seattle band on TV clad in oversized flannels and ripped jeans, using the word grunge like it really meant something. It was a bit later that, like most of us, I heard their first release and the popular band took on a much darker quality.
From the negative cover image of dirty hair flying to the quick and hostile blast of songs, I remember feeling that there was something alluringly unclean about Bleach. Even today, because none of the songs became radio hits, it feels like a lost album, despite the fact that every fifteen year old with more than a passing fancy for the genre owns it.
Infamously recorded for $600, the album defined a band that would never be satisfied with fame and fortune.?Each song aches with the teenage frustration that made Nirvana, and Cobain in particular, so appealing to my generation of angsty teens. They may have become demigods after making it big on MTV, but Bleach captures the real teen spirit.