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1-Dive | 2-Sliver | 3-Stain | 4-Been A Son | 5-Turnaround | 6-Molly's Lips | 7-Son Of A Gun | 8-(New Wave) Polly | 9-Beeswax | 10-Downer | 11-Mexican Seafood | 12-Hairspray Queen | 13-Aero Zeppelin | 14-Big Long Now | 15-Aneurysm


Incesticide is a compilation album of b-sides and outtakes released by Nirvana on December 15, 1992. It was released by Geffen Records. The album reached No. 39 in the Billboard Top 200.


1. Dive
2. Sliver
3. Stain
4. Been A Son
5. Turnaround (Devo cover)
6. Molly's Lips (The Vaselines cover)
7. Son Of A Gun (The Vaselines cover)
8. (New Wave) Polly
9. Beeswax
10. Downer
11. Mexican Seafood
12. Hairspray Queen
13. Aero Zeppelin
14. Big Long Now
15. Aneurysm

The songs "Beeswax", "Downer", "Mexican Seafood", "Hairspray Queen", and "Aero Zeppelin" are from the band's first demo, and show the convergence of the band's early metal and noise punk influences.

"Turnaround", "Molly's Lips", and "Son of a Gun" were taken from BBC sessions.


1. Dive
Recorded April, 1990. Smart Studios, Wisconsin, WI.

2. Sliver
Recorded July 11, 1990. Reciprocal Studios, Seattle, WA.

3. Stain
Recorded September, 1989. Music Source Studios, Seattle, WA.

4. Been A Son
Recorded November 9, 1991. BBC Studios, London, UK.

5. Turnaround
Recorded October 21, 1990. Maida Vale Studios, London, UK.

6. Molly's Lips
Recorded October 21, 1990. Maida Vale Studios, London, UK.

7. Son Of A Gun
Recorded October 21, 1990. Maida Vale Studios, London, UK.

8. (New Wave) Polly
Recorded November 9, 1991. BBC Studios, London, UK.

9. Beeswax
Recorded January 23, 1988. Reciprocal Studios, Seattle, WA.

10. Downer
Recorded January 23, 1988. Reciprocal Studios, Seattle, WA.

11. Mexican Seafood
Recorded January 23, 1988. Reciprocal Studios, Seattle, WA.

12. Hairspray Queen
Recorded January 23, 1988. Reciprocal Studios, Seattle, WA.

13. Aero Zeppelin
Recorded January 23, 1988. Reciprocal Studios, Seattle, WA.

14. Big Long Now
Recorded December, 1988. Reciprocal Studios, Seattle, WA.

15. Aneurysm
Recorded. November 9, 1991. BBC Studios, London, UK.


Dive - ???

Sliver - A semi-biographical song about being deserted by your parents.

Stain - ???

Been A Son - Song about a girl whose parents wanted a boy.

Turnaround - Cover of a Devo song.

Molly's Lips - Cover of a Vaselines song.

Son of a Gun - Cover of a Vaselines song.

(New Wave) Polly - Based on the actual kidnapping of a 14 year old girl and her torture.

Beeswax - Seems to be about sexuality and confusion. Also speaks of the objectification of women in society.

Downer - Kurt's attempt at a political song.

Mexican Seafood - Some people seem to believe this is about a yeast infection. Most likely another one of Kurt's songs where he just throws a bunch of lyrics together.

Hairspray Queen - ???

Aero Zeppelin - Who were two big rock bands in the late 80's? Aerosmith and Led Zepplin. The beginning of this song is a take on Led Zepplin's type of, "groovy, foreign-sounding" rock, and the second movement resembles that of Aerosmith, with fast guitar, fast drums, and a lead singer constantly cooing into the microphone.

Big Long Now - ???

Aneurysm - Possibly about shooting heroin.


Front | Back | CD


A while ago, I found myself in bloody exhaust grease London again with an all-consuming urge to hunt for two rare things: back issues of NME rumored to be secretly hidden in glass casings and submerged in the fry vats of every kebab machine in the U.K. and the very-out-of-print first Raincoats LP.

The NME search was a clever, saucy upstart of an attempt to be, uh, nasty. However, the Lord and Julian Cope himself know how we need, need, need the NME to embrace the unifying hands of our children across this big blue marble and NIRVANA's tarty musical career. So please bless us again - we'll forever feed off of your high-calorie boggy turbinates.

In an attempt to satisfy the second part of my quest, I went to the Rough Trade shop and, of course, found no Raincoats record in the bin. I then asked the woman behind the counter about it and she said “well, it happens that I'm neighbors with Anna (member of The Raincoats) and she works at an antique shop just a few miles from here.” So she drew me a map and I started on my way to Anna's.

Sometime later, I arrived at this elfin shop filled with something else I've compulsively searched for over the past few years - really old fucked up marionette-like wood carved dolls (quite a few hundred years old). Lots of them... I've fantasized about finding a ship filled with so many. They wouldn't accept my credit card but the dolls were really too expensive anyway. Anna was there, however, so I politely introduced myself with a fever-red face and explained the reason for my intrusion. I can remember her mean boss almost setting me on fire with his glares. She said “well, I may have a few lying around so, if I find one, I'll send it to you (very polite, very English).” I left feeling like a dork, like I had violated her space, like she probably thought my band was tacky.

A few weeks later I received a vinyl copy of that wonderfully classic scripture with a personalized dust sleeve covered with xeroxed lyrics, pictures, and all the members' signatures. There was also a touching letter from Anna. It made me happier than playing in front of thousands of people each night, rock-god idolization from fans, music industry plankton kissing my ass, and the million dollars I made last year. It was one of the few really important things that I've been blessed with since becoming an untouchable boy genius.

It was as rewarding as touring with Shonen Knife and watching people practically cry with joy at their honesty. It made people happy and it made me happy knowing that I had helped bring them to the U.K.

It was as rewarding as the last Vaselines show in Edinburgh. They reformed just to play with us in their home town, probably having no idea how exciting and flattering it was for us (and how nervous we were to meet them).

It was as rewarding as being asked to support Sonic Youth on two tours, totally being taken under their wing and being showed what dignity really means.

It was as rewarding as the drawings Daniel Johnston sent me, or the Stinky Puffs single from Jad Fair's son, or playing on the same bill as Greg Sage in L.A., or being asked to help produce the next Melvins record, or being on the Wipers' Compilation, or Thor from T.K. giving me a signed first edition of Naked Lunch, or making a friend like Stephen Pavlovic - our Australian tour promoter who sent me a Mazzy Star LP on vinyl, or playing “The Money Will Roll Right In” with Mudhoney, or having the power to insist on bringing Bjorn Again to the Reading Festival, or being able to afford to bring my friend Ian along on tour just to have a good time, or paying Calamity Jane five-thousand dollars to be heckled by twenty thousand macho boys in Argentina, or asking my friends Fits Of Depression to play with us at The Seattle Coliseum, or playing with Poison Idea at No On Nine benefit in Portland organized by Gus Van Zandt, or being a part of one of L7's pro-choice benefits in L.A., or kissing Chris and Dave on Saturday Night Live just to spite homophobes, or meeting Iggy Pop, or playing with The Breeders, Urge Overkill, The T.V. Personalities, The Jesus Lizard, Hole, Dinosaur Jr., etc.

While all these things were very special, none were half as rewarding as having a baby with a person who is the supreme example of dignity, ethics and honesty. My wife challenges injustice and the reason her character has been so severely attacked is because she chooses not to function the way the white corporate man insists. His rules for women involve her being submissive, quiet, and non-challenging. When she doesn't follow his rules, the threatened man (who, incidentally, owns an army of devoted traitor women) gets scared.

A big “fuck you” to those of you who have the audacity to claim that I'm so naive and stupid that I would allow myself to be taken advantage of and manipulated.

I don't feel the least bit guilty for commercially exploiting a completely exhausted Rock youth Culture because, at this point in rock history, Punk Rock (while still sacred to some) is, to me, dead and gone. We just wanted to pay tribute to something that helped us to feel as though we had crawled out of the dung heep of conformity. To pay tribute like an Elvis or Jimi Hendrix impersonater in the tradition of a bar band. I'll be the first to admit that we're the 90's version of Cheap Trick or The Knack but the last to admit that it hasn't been rewarding.

At this point I have a request for our fans. If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us - leave us the fuck alone! Don't come to our shows and don't buy our records.

Last year, a girl was raped by two wastes of sperm and eggs while they sang the lyrics to our song “Polly.” I have a hard time carrying on knowing there are plankton like that in our audience. Sorry to be so anally P.C. but that's the way I feel.


Kurdt (the blond one)


Dive": "Yet another re-write of the heavy string-bend grunge formula; B-side of 'Sliver' 7-inch." (Recorded by Butch Vig in 1988)

"Sliver": "Always mistaken for 'Silver' - an experiment in dynamics and simplicity inspired by Half-Japanese, ELP and ELO." (Recorded in an hour on Tad's equipment during their dinner break while they were recording their album at Reciprical Studios.)

"Stain": "Floyd The Barber's sister; released in 1989 on the Sub Pop 'Blew' EP." (Recorded by Pell Mell's Steve Fisk at a studio that mostly records TV and radio commercials.)

"Been A Son": "This version was recorded in England for the John Goodier radio show; a lamer, slower version can be found on the 'Blew' EP."

"Turnaround": "Turnaround is the best Devo song and it was only released as the B-side of their 'Whip It' single." (Recorded in England for John Peel, The Wizard of Oz's radio guru.)

"Molly's Lips": "Our favorite Vaselines' song, I left out some of the lyrics because I was too lazy to write them down." (From a BBC session.)

"Son Of A Gun": "Our second favorite Vaselines' song - get the Knack." (From a BBC session.)

"(New Wave) Polly": "Better to do a power pop version rather than a reggae, salsa, or fox trot." (From a BBC session.)

"Downer": "Hmm... I think I may have grown a bit as a lyricist since writing this." (Recorded in 1987 at Reciprical Studios, produced by Jack Endino.)

"Mexican Seafood": "God - I used to be, like, so-boy."

"Hairspray Queen": "Looking back on this first demo, I've come to realize how incredibly New Wave we once were... Kajagoogoo..."

"Aero Zeppelin Joke": "Christ! Yeah, let's just throw together some heavy metal riffs in no particular order and give it a quirky name in homage to a couple of our favorite masturbatory 70's rock acts."

"Big Long Now": "Gee... a long time ago I had really long hair and was into setting a mood. I hope The Psychedelic Furs don't sue us. Thee Sister Europe resemblances. Uncanny."

"Aneurysm": "A recent attempt at getting back to our New Wave roots."


Kurt Cobain - Vocals/Guitar
Krist Novoselic - Bass
Dave Grohl - Drums
Dale Crover (The Melvins) - Drums ("Beeswax", "Downer", "Mexican Seafood", "Hairspray Queen", "Aero Zeppelin")
Dan Peters (Mudhoney) - Drums ("Sliver")
Chad Channing - Drums
Butch Vig - Producer ("Dive")
Jack Endino - Producer ("Sliver", "Beeswax", "Downer", "Mexican Seafood", "Hairspray Queen", "Aero Zeppelin", "Big Long Now")
Steve Fisk - Producer ("Stain")
Miti Adhikari - Producer ("Been A Son", "(New Wave) Polly", "Aneurysm")
Dale Griffin - Producer ("Turnaround", "Molly's Lips", "Son of a Gun")
John Taylor - Engineer ("Been A Son", "(New Wave) Polly", "Aneurysm")
M. Engels - Engineer ("Turnaround", "Molly's Lips", "Son of a Gun")
F. Kay - Engineer ("Turnaround", "Molly's Lips", "Son of a Gun")


The members of Nirvana did not set out to become superstars, didn't expect to move millions of units, had no way to know that an entire generation was equally tired of being lied to – by their parents, by their government and by the music on the radio. They set out simply to write songs that spoke to their experience of the world and that felt good when played. Loud.

That insistence on emotional honesty is really all that connects the so-called Seattle bands; otherwise Nirvana and Pearl Jam have little in common. Weird Al Yankovic lampooned Kurt Cobain's withdrawal into incoherence (remember the Who stuttering "My Generation"?) but laughing at "Smells Like Teen Spirit" misses the point: Some emotions are so deeply rooted that only the hideous abuse of an electric guitar and an untutored scream will do to express them. That revelation is hardly unique to Seattle, but few angry young men have so directly dented the consciousness of a culture suckled on sitcoms. The Nirvana compilation Incesticide and Blood Circus's Primal Rock Therapy freeze fragments of a creative process that four years later miraculously caught the world's fancy. One band made it, one didn't, but the roles could as easily have been reversed.

Back in 1988, when Nirvana was just three scraggly guys from Aberdeen with bad equipment and half-formed ideas, Blood Circus seemed hellbent for fame. The group's crimson vinyl debut, "Two Way Street"/"Six Foot Under," released before Mudhoney's brown vinyl "Touch Me, I'm Sick," is one of the cornerstones of (sigh) grunge, Seattle's much-hyped urban-suburban synthesis of punk and metal. This collection is virtually all that remains of that dream.

Lacking Mudhoney's sardonic humor and Nirvana's surprisingly pretty hooks, Blood Circus's strength ran to raw, savagely blunt songs. Guitarist-singer Michael Anderson has a gruff voice that howls as if a hot sword were twisting his bowels. His confederates (drummer Doug Day, guitarist Geoff Robinson and bassist T-Man) built crude, durable songs – too clean for punk, too simple for metal – with the precision of factory workers. Their best work (that is, most of it) shares the working-class worldview that propelled blues and country music in the Fifties. "Six Foot Under," their signature tune, begins: "My daddy was a workingman.... Every time I talked to him he was cold as ice/So he smoked too much/So he drank too much.... That's how you feel when you're six foot under the grave." It's a stark, unforgiving vision.

Primal Rock Therapy, the five-song 1989 EP that gives this collection its name, sold badly and was largely savaged in what press took notice. The band broke up (and recently re-formed). Five unreleased tracks of comparable cold rage garnish the collection. The years have done nothing to diminish the band's power and fury.

Nirvana shares much of Blood Circus's aesthetic; the group simply stayed together and phrased its displeasure with a pop sheen. And had better luck. Incesticide was originally planned as a collection of otherwise unavailable remnants of Nirvana's early Sub Pop repertoire. The project moved to DGC, presumably to allow for a more comprehensive selection, but it's far from complete.

Missing are splendid covers of the Velvet Underground, Kiss and the Wipers, plus a half-dozen live tracks released elsewhere and even some of Nevermind's B sides. Incesticide's tracks are scattered – in no particular order – and drawn from a variety of sources, including Nirvana's first 1987 demo ("Hairspray Queen"), last Sub Pop single ("Sliver"/"Dive"), the import-only EP Hormoaning (less two tracks), assorted BBC sessions and two local compilations.

The chaos of the collection suggests a struggle to diffuse the burdens of fame. Following Nevermind is a creative straitjacket. Incesticide presents Nirvana in a host of settings, including a whimsical cover of a Devo B side ("Turn Around") and a pair of tunes from the Vaselines ("Molly's Lips," "Son of a Gun"), the Scottish band since mutated into Eugenius. It exposes ragged early sessions ("Downer," "Mexican Seafood"), reinvents "(New Wave) Polly," a troubling song about rape, and revives "Dive," "Sliver" and "Aneurysm." It creates breathing room.

And that's the point: Nirvana was a great band before Nevermind topped the charts. Incesticide is a reminder of that and – maybe more important – proof of Nirvana's ability, on occasion, to fail. The unpolished forces at work and sometimes in conflict within the band are plainly exposed, as is a broader and rougher range of sounds, styles and interests.

That done, the group can go about writing and recording new material. With luck, perhaps Incesticide will remind Nirvana's audience that freedom to fail is the only useful definition of artistic freedom.

Bleach | Nevermind | Incesticide | In Utero
Unplugged | Muddy Banks | Nirvana | Hormoaning

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