Nirvana gets noisy but catchy with ‘Aneurysm’

At their best, Nirvana could play some of the catchiest distorted pop songs known to man; at their worst, they were just noisy and nearly unlistenable (although some would argue these should be reversed).

On “Aneurysm,” Nirvana were a combination of these two dichotomies. The song begins with a riff that spirals upward before finally exploding in a burst of noise and pounding drums.  The verse, in contrast, is something about someone coming over to “do the twist.” Uh-huh. And then the song explodes again, before once again quieting down . . . you get the idea.

In some ways “Aneurysm” is a good study in the band’s famous quiet-loud dynamic, but in other ways it’s more a document of the band combining two elements that could have easily began separately: that spiraling riff and those insanely catchy verses.

Several versions of the song have been released, including on the band’s b-sides and rarities album Incesticide. I’ve always thought that the version on the live album From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah to be the best, however. Hear it for yourself below.


Author: Ryan King

Ryan King began covering music in 2004 for the Arrow, the student newspaper at Southeast Missouri State University, eventually becoming Managing Editor at that publication. He is also the former Music Editor for OFF! Magazine, an alternative publication published by the Southeast Missourian. Ryan began writing for The Music Universe when launched, but has stepped away to focus on law. He may appear from time to time for reviews.

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