Nirvana has to be one of the most influential bands of all time, changing music forever with their breakout album Nevermind. Nevermind wasn’t the trio’s first work, with Bleach being their freshman album. I love Nirvana so I naturally had to check out their debut album.
First of all, Bleach is a much different album than Nevermind and In Utero (Nirvana’s final studio album). It’s much more sludgy and metallic with it being comparable to the music of The Melvins, another grunge band from Nirvana’s neck of the woods. The best track off the album, in my opinion, is “Downer” which perfectly captures the vibe of Bleach.
If you listened to “Downer” and “Lithium” back to back, you’d think that Kurt Cobain had some sort of Temple of Dog-esque deal with the former track having different musicians than the latter (David Grohl didn’t play on Bleach but the guitar and bass are where some of the largest sonic differences come from). The song is on the faster side and has more in common with metal than the alternative rock of the 90s. Cobain has a strong vocal delivery and Krist Novoselic has an incredible bass line.
Kurt Cobain said not many people own Bleach while on MTV’s Unplugged program. His statement mostly holds up after his death, with Bleach being Nirvana’s least streamed album on Spotify. I personally think it’s the album’s weakest but it’s still a decent album in its own right. I give it a 7/10. You should definitely check it out when you have a moment.