Wednesday, November 02 2011 00:00

COME AS YOU ARE: A 20th Anniversary Tribute to NIRVANA's NEVERMIND (Review)

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comeasyouaresidebarThere have already been a lot of track-for-track ''tribute'' albums released to celebrate NEVERMIND, the landmark album by NIRVANA. At least four strike my mind as being released this year alone - all marking the two decades since the record with the familiar floating baby first hit stores unceremoniously on a September Tuesday back in 1991. A bit belated to market, Reimagine Music's COME AS YOU ARE: A 20th Anniversary Tribute to NIRVANA's NEVERMIND is one of the better ones, but it hasn't arrived without fault.

COME AS YOU ARE gets off to a rough start, with Smells Like Teen Spirit getting a folky, acoustic reworking courtesy of THE DUTCH MASTERS - much like the folky, acoustic reworking that THE MEAT PUPPETS provided on NEWERMIND earlier this year. The guitars are fine, but the processing on the vocals is overkill. In Bloom is absolutely butchered by MEWITHOUTYOU, who join MIDNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS as the second band this year to pay "tribute" to NIRVANA that I would like to punch in the face. The first comment shown on their own website sums it up best: "That is fucking terrible." Audio evidence below via a stream that appears right on the MEWITHOUTYOU website. What assholes.

With the worst out of the way, the title track, Come As You Are (possibly my least favorite NIRVANA song of all-time) is given a passable treatment by CIVIL TWILIGHT, right before the gang from STORY OF THE YEAR gives this tribute a much-needed kick in the ass with their rendition of Breed. HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS does alright with Lithium, but there's a detachment between the music and the vocals that feels as if they were performed in separate rooms. Polly is performed fairly straight-forward by FINGER ELEVEN, but it's a hard song to fuck up. Sorry for the language, I'm still angry about the vocalist from MEWITHOUTYOU.

WILL DAILEY takes Territorial Pissings and makes it his own with one of the true re-imaginings on the record, while Chicago's MAPS & ATLASES gives an almost Ozzy-like treatment to the vocals of Drain You. MURDER BY DEATH does a great job of darkening up Lounge Act and making it sound like something you'd hear playing on the Jukebox of Merlotte's on TRUE BLOOD.

Stay Away gets a little electro-punk courtesy of Brazilian vocalist PITTY, while THE ALBUM LEAF does a mellow, yet endearing version of On A Plain. The good stuff gets interrupted by one last hack job courtesy of MARGOT & THE NUCLEAR SO & SO'S pissing on the legacy of Kurt Cobain with their version of Something in the Way.

Almost in an act of redemption, a bonus track featuring BAYSIDE's Anthony Raneri doing a piano-driven take on the BLEACH album's About A Girl is included to carry COME AS YOU ARE off on a positive note.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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