For those of us who lived through it back in the day, the thorough shit-kicking Nirvana’s Nevermind gave to the King of Pop’s Dangerous was revolutionary. We kids in ’91 hadn’t been around for the 60s Summer of Love, and were too young to have appreciated punk’s arrival, so for us, Nirvana were pioneers of a new era in pop music. Suddenly, a lot of my favourite bands were on the lips of a lot of the kids in my school who had never given alternative music a second thought.
What came in the wake of Nevermind has been well documented and memorialized in many ways, but what gets short shrift in the Nirvana discussion in their third album, Nevermind‘s follow-up, In Utero. Released in 1993, produced by the incomparable Steve Albini, and the last Nirvana record before Kurt Cobain’s death, In Utero is a challenging, complicated record to get into, but one whose influence often gets overlooked in comparison to its older sibling.
Hand Drawn Dracula hopes that with Milkin’ It: A Tribute to Nirvana’s In Utero, the other great Nirvana album gets some much needed love and appreciation as it celebrates it’s 20th anniversary this year. Sparked by a cover of “All Apologies” by The Wooden Sky that didn’t have a reason or vehicle for release, and the realization that a number of local bands, many with divergent musical styles, all called Nirvana a key influence in their sound and development, a plot was hatched to get a group of Toronto-based artists, all around the same age, to record a tribute to In Utero in time to celebrate the anniversary.
Milkin’ It is available as a free download from Hand Drawn Dracula, and features performances by Beliefs (“Heart-Shaped Box”), Breeze (“Serve the Servants”), Greys (“Scentless Apprentice”), The Weather Station (“Pennyroyal Tea”), Hooded Fang (“Tourette’s”), Odonis Odonis (“Radio Friendly Unit Shifter”), and Julie Fader with Fresh Snow (“Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge”) along with others to cover the whole of In Utero plus some B-sides from the era, including Doomsquad‘s cover of the “Pennyroyal Tea” b-side “I Hate Myself and I Want to Die”.