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Nirvana: Kilburn National, London

Simon Reynolds, Melody Maker, December 1991

THE ONLY EXPLANATION is that a lot of people didn't realise how angry and alienated they really were. Once in a blue moon, a group comes along and fits the zeitgeist like a glove; right now that group is Nirvana. With its oscillation between rage and resignation, its lust for revolution that's immediately crippled by bitter irony, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' is an 'Anarchy In The UK' for the twenty something generation. Nevermind is a glimpse into the collective unconscious of this blankest of generations, whose fury festers implosively, whose idealism is blocked or dissipated, because neither impulse can find a constructive outlet. The cover of the LP says it all in a single image: a naked infant swimming through uterine waters is lured to the surface by a dollar bill on a fish-hook. Nirvana say: don't do it, kid! Leave your blissful brine for this corrupt world, and it'll be the first and worst mistake of your life.

Total word count of piece: 651