Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Kurt Cobain: "Montage of Heck: The Home Recordings" (album review)

Well the Tupac-ing of Nirvana's legacy continues with the release of Montage of Heck, the soundtrack accompaniment to the recent documentary of Kurt Cobain.

The album compiles 31 tracks of sound that can be divided into a handful of categories:

  1. Demo versions of songs we know well
  2. Unheard songs
  3. Sound clips of Kurt
The demo versions are fine, but nothing unique.  So we get a listen to early versions of "Been a Son", "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle", "Sappy", and as part of a medley "Something In the Way".  It's nothing we haven't heard before, particularly on the With the Lights Out box set.  There's nothing vital here.

The 'new' or 'recently unearthed' material demonstrates why these songs really didn't move beyond the larval stage.  With the exception of the guitar work on "The Yodel Song" and the uncharacteristically bright near-ukulele sound on "The Happy Guitar:, there's not much to engage here, especially given the sound quality.  You can add the Beatles cover of "And I Love Her" to this group.

Finally there are numerous recordings of Kurt wanking on the guitar or performing a spoken word piece, or simply chatting.  Without the context of the film, these bits are fairly useless to the listener.

It's hard to see how this would appeal to even the most die-hard Nirvana fan.


No comments: