Song Review by

In 1991, Nevermind made Nirvana the first poster boys of the grunge explosion (at least in the eyes of the mass audience, who were suddenly playing catch up with what the alt-rock community had been hip-deep in for the last several years), but Nevermind's songcraft had more in common with John Lennon than the dropped-tuning Black Sabbath riffage that was Sub Pop Records' bread and beer. Nirvana's debut, Bleach, had a lot more to do with grunge in its pure state, but "Aneurysm," written long after Bleach but not used on Nevermind, may have been their final grunge masterpiece. Introduced with an echoey, descending riff that was soon blasted into full arena-ready velocity, the verses were centered on a crunchy but dirt-simple two-chord structure as Kurt Cobain, in a snarl that sounded like a grand parody of bare-chested rockers of several eras, implored listeners to "Come on over/And do the twist." As the band charged into a chorus that had all the catchiness of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" but twice the skull-crushing impact, Cobain chants, "Beat me out of me!/Beat me out of me!" before riding out with a cryptic but compelling bit of praise for some unnamed female: "She keeps it pumpin' straight to my heart." Big, loud rock riffs, pop culture parody, self-conscious self-disgust, and a finale worthy of a thousand upheld Bic lighters -- sounds just like the stuff that Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Stone Temple Pilots built their careers upon.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Nevermind 1991 DGC / Geffen 0:00
Smells Like Teen Spirit 1991 DGC / Universal International 4:46
Hormoaning 1992 DGC / Geffen
Incesticide 1992 DGC / Geffen 4:36
Into the Black 1994
No Image 1994 KTS
No Image 1995 KTS 4:54
Singles 1996 MCA 4:44
Box 1998
Geffen 4:35
No Image 2000 Diamond Recordings
With the Lights Out 2004 Geffen 4:47