Endless Loop: Aneurysm

nirvanaHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Aneurysm” by Nirvana

Like so many people around my age, my early teenage years (and probably the middle and late ones too) were both molded and informed by Nirvana. There is practically no end to how much I was affected by Kurt Cobain and the music he made. As an impressionable 13-year old, Cobain and Nirvana weighed influence on the bands I sought out and listened to, the art I enjoyed, the clothing I wore, the politics, attitude, style, and on and on. I’ve gone through many phases in my life, several of them being music related, but the one that Nirvana began seems to have endured the longest, and continues to hold the most sway. Hell, often it still feels to me that that era of music was the absolute pinnacle of everything that was good, right, and cool. But, that’s probably just old man talk. I don’t know what you kids are into now.

I was fifteen when Cobain blew his brains out. It devastated me. As it did a lot people. I can think of no other celebrity death that affected me the way that that one did*.

When I started writing this Endless Loop column, I knew I would eventually get around to Nirvana, I just didn’t know what song. The band’s catalog is stuffed with riches, both the hits and rarities alike. They were one of those groups whose B-sides, demos, and throwaways were better than 90% of the music their contemporaries were making. And I love all of it. After some soul searching, I settled on “Aneurysm**,” the seminal closing track on 1992’s excellent B-side collection Incesticide. Everything is in this jam: the killer guitar riffs, Krist Novoselic’s thudding bass line, Dave Grohl’s bombastic drumming, and Kurt’s often unintelligible lyrics buried within his guttural howl. For any other artist, this would have been the hit single. For Nirvana, it ended up on a record label cash-in album. It’s still amazing.

There’s really nothing more I can add about Nirvana or Kurt Cobain that hasn’t already been discussed and dissected a thousand times over. There’s even a documentary on the way later this year (which looks fantastic). So let’s just listen to the music instead.


*For some reason, it really upset me when Tony Gwynn died.

**The relative obscurity that is “I Hate Myself and I Want to Die” came in a close second.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

One Response to Endless Loop: Aneurysm
  1. Shawn C. Baker Reply

    I’m not the biggest Nirvana fan but I am a fan. And this is Hands Down my favorite song by them and I’d add, possibly the best written pop rock song of the 90s.
    And yes, there is the argument that it’s not pop, but essentially, for a brief number of years after they broke big, Nirvana redefined what Pop rock was. great choice.

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