With the release of the much-lauded Kurt Cobain documentary Montage of Heck–and the not-as-loved Cobain death conspiracy docudrama Soaked in Bleach—Nirvana demos, outtakes and other unreleased sounds generated by the band are a hot-ticket item at the moment. So of course, there is anything but a lack of them: there was a Cobain solo track, demos from Cobain’s pre-Nirvana band Fecal Matter, and there’s a Cobain solo album on the way in November.
Then yesterday came the release of a 9-minute Nirvana demo, hands-washingly titled “E-Coli”, which you can listen to above. While the prospect of new Nirvana music is exciting, it’s best to manage our expectations: At best, the recording, which has been dated to some point between 1993 and 1994, is an indication of the musical direction the band could have gone in next had it not been for the untimely passing of Cobain. Maybe they could have gone in a noisier direction, or maybe more longform, or maybe more of both. It’s purely speculative, but fun to imagine and perhaps “E-Coli” is a rough template of what may have been.
At its worst, “E-Coli” is a rough soundcheck recording of the band messing around without a great deal of direction or aim. We’re not sitting on a hidden gem here: there’s a reason most of these types of recordings are obscure. Still, new Nirvana anything is always exciting and a way for us to carry on the legacy of one of music’s most tragic figures.
Also, there has to be some sort of connection between “E-Coli”, which was named after the diarrhea-causing bacteria, and Fecal Matter. There has to be. Cobain had stomach problems after all
Featured image courtesy of deviantArt // SzymonWajner