What? This is boring, who cares? No one I just felt like typing this so I did. That’s how I roll. Nevermind vs. In Utero going track by track. Just for fun you know, let’s see how they compare.
Smells Like Teen Spirit vs. Serve The Servants
- The most definitive rock song of the 90’s, the tune that sent ripples through the musical world, versus a cool twisted rock jam. The choice is simple for me, even if some may call Teen Spirit overplayed it still holds a great power today. With it’s crushing energy, simple but effective riffage and a mighty vocal line, it’s a definitive piece of music history and a damn good tune. Serve The Servants is cool and the opening line “Teenage angst has paid off well…” is a great way to open the record, but it really can’t compare in this case.
In Bloom vs. Scentless Apprentice
- Also no contest. Scentless Apprentice is simply one of the most badass rock songs. With it’s brutal ear crushing guitars, pounding beat and viscous screams it’s really quite a mean tune. In Bloom is catchy and makes you feel weird for singing along with it, like it’s insulting you are something. You’re like “he’s the one who likes all our pretty songs” then realize you’re singing about yourself…kind of clever. The chord progression and drum parts are cool as well, but it has little on the raw power of Scentless Apprentice.
Come As You Are vs. Heart Shaped Box
- Heart Shaped Box is another brutal track but fit for radio with it’s quiet verse groove and explosive chorus. The guitar sound is skin tearing, it’s really a gripping tune. HEY! WAIT! There is this magma like tone to it that just burns. The pick-ups on In Utero are so sudden and loud. Come As You Are has a nice chorus effect, memorable underwater riff and the bridge is great but Heart Shaped Box is a moment of brilliance. Hard to beat it.
Breed vs. Rape Me
- Rape Me is one of boldest tunes in the band’s discography, a very powerful song but in this case I would rather choose the fun Breed with it’s turbo charged riffing, great urgent melodies and badass rhythm. Rape Me has the band coming in so suddenly and the last back and forth just hammers the message into your skull.
Lithium vs. Frances Farmer
- Frances Farmer is almost a lesser tune, but it has a great bridge and gets by with the power of In Utero’s sound. Lithium works off a unique chord progression and tight melody. When comparing the two albums Nevermind has more good musicial moments, where In Utero has overall better sonics. But I would go with Lithium here.
Polly vs. Dumb
- Both albums cool down in the middle, Polly being the acoustic track and Dumb featuring a cello. Polly tells a twisted story while Dumb has rather sad and hopeless lyrics about one’s self. It’s a hard pick actually, I would give the edge to Polly for it’s take on the awful situation, especially how Kurt gets in the head of the character, “she’s just as bored as me”. It’s one of his best songwriting moments.
Territorial Pissings vs. Very Ape
- Terriorial Pissings is in my mind the most badass Nirvana song. It’s sheer punk rock energy with a vicious guitar and an incredible screaming chorus with a real sense of urgency. It was the first song that made me like Nirvana. Very Ape comes and goes, the drums and guitars are primal and mighty but it gets lost in the mist of In Utero where Territoral Pissings is in my mind the highlight of Nevermind.
Drain You vs. Milk It
- A fun song versus a depressing slice of self loathing brutality. There is something human and gross about Milk It, it’s a great song, but it doesn’t make me feel good like Drain You. That’s fine in itself as any good song makes you feel a powerful emotion, but…I lean more to the good time song with the Sonic Youth breakdown, though Milk It really kicks the album into the highest gear. I will still go for Drain You here.
Lounge Act vs. Pennyroyal Tea
- This is the point in In Utero where it just takes off and explodes into masterpiece levels. This is the point in Nevermind where it stays on the same level of pretty good but not great. Lounge Act is a short, catchy and to the point rocker with a nice screaming pick-up. Pennyroyal Tea is devastation, with it’s mighty chorus and dark verses. Both are good but I give the edge to Pennyroyal Tea.
Stay Away vs. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter
- The most unfair pairing yet. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter has noise, chaos, extreme energy, great lyrics and a great chorus. Stay Away is good but Radio Friendly… is one of my top Nirvana tracks, Dave’s drums are powerful on the whole album but something about this groove, the way Krist keeps up the same bassline the whole time while Kurt’s guitar screams feedback for the verse. Then they all come together for the chorus and soar into the bridge.
On A Plain vs. tourette’s
- In my mind tourette’s is not so much a song as a meltdown that serves as an interlude. On A Plain is pretty good melody wise and has great guitars. It’s hard to compare these two different tunes but I would give it to tourette’s for being so silly vocally. On A Plain is unfocused lyrically, which many Nirvana songs are. I like the like about mailing black sheep without postal codes but it’s tossed together. tourette’s gets by on energy and an insane vocal delivery.
Something In The Way vs. All Apologies
- Once more there is no comparison in my mind. Something In The Way is a surprisingly soft song with a nice sentiment of Kurt’s teenage hideout. There is nothing to take away from the tone either, it’s quiet to loud but still quite a mellow tune. All Apologies however just takes the cake as a finale, with it’s catchy guitar line, destructive guitar tone (is that pick-up ever loud), and the final phrase repeated until they get tired, it’s really a stunning, profound tune. Both songs are good but All Apologies is not only better as a song but as a cap to the album.
Overall that gives it 6 for Nevermind and 6 for In Utero. Yup, it’s hard to pick for me. Nevermind is a more joyous album I can put on whenever, where In Utero is more of a when I’m in the mood for it thing. The sound is better on the album, the drums are smashing and Kurt’s guitar is vicious. Nevermind is better on a tune basis, but In Utero would win on a more focused tone. It feels like one piece and the bottom end kicks into overdrive. Overall In Utero is perhaps a more accomplished work, while I would overall pick Nevermind, there are different reasons to like both albums.
Also yes I elect Endless, Nameless over Gallons Of Rubbing Alcohol Flow Through The Strip. I love that title but Nevermind ending with a blast of pure rage and brutal noise after the album’s only “nice” song is kind of badass. More so when you consider it’s on an album that sold millions of millions of copies.