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Nirvana - Reissues album review

The UK Nirvana remind us that they were here first

Cover art for Nirvana - Reissues album

In the late 60s and early 70s, Nirvana became the textbook definition of the kind of post-hippie rock that punk sought to kill off a few years down the line. What they lacked in success they made up for in a roaring sense of self-confidence.

They were in a state of flux when 1971’s Local softwareuiphraseguid=“5ab34c01-ce21-4a47-b391-e5540c118af5”>Anaesthetic (510) was recorded. In fact, with the departure of co-founder Alex Spyropoulos, it was entirely under the control of Patrick Campbell-Lyons, who used it as an opportunity to explore the proggiest corners of his imagination. Modus Operandi takes up the entire first side, and is a bloody-minded clash of jazz squawks, loose rhythms, nonsensical lyrics and in-studio twatting about, the disparate fragments of ideas jarring awkwardly against one another. Side two’s Home suite is a little easier to swallow thanks to a more logical flow and some actual tunes.

Songs Of Love And Peace (610) from 1972, in contrast, finds them in a much more amiable frame of mind, opener Rainbow Chaser (their biggest hit – it reached No.34 in the UK charts) finding them on funky form with a chorus of horns and boogie-friendly keyboards. Campbell-Lyons’ simple vocal style is bolstered with orchestral flourishes that scream of their era, the whole thing trapped in patchouli-scented amber forevermore.

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.