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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

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