With the legacy of Seattle grunge legends Nirvana, and particularly the generation defining genius of late frontman Kurt Cobain, still very much forefront in the psyche of rock fans the world over, it is inevitable that any new scrap of material or footage is to be dredged up and wheeled out for those still anxious to eavesdrop on the troubled prodigy. ‘Montage Of Heck’ promised something new although, a collection of home recordings spanning as far back as 1987, until Kurt‘s death in 1994, which pledged an unfettered look into a mind still fascinating audiences so many years on. The reality is a paper thin patchwork of tidbits which, whilst occasionally betraying a snapshot of real beauty, comes across as barely worthwhile, and a excessive attempt to keep the Cobain ball rolling, and more importantly the cash flowing.
Indeed, even the highlights here (a fantastic rendition of The Beatles ‘And I Love Her’ being the pick of the bunch) amount to little more than brief curios in among thirteen largely forgettable fragments of ideas, which at best remind us of the what they are destined to become (‘Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle’), and at worst are just incoherent shaving of noise (‘You Can’t Change Me/Burn My Britches/Something In The Way’). ‘Reverb Experiment’ just features Kurt drilling a guitar pedal for nigh on three minutes. Hardly a gripping insight.
No doubt Nirvana obsessives will find an essential look into Kurt‘s creative process here, and perhaps for fanatics there is much to explore. Yet the fact remains that it is difficult to judge the merits of ‘Montage Of Heck’ without reaching the conclusion that its one true purpose is to offer a voyeuristic and intrusive glimpse into something deeply personal and no doubt intended to be kept secret. Musical revelations are slim, and ‘Montage Of Heck’ proves to illuminate nothing other than how clean the bones of Kurt Cobain‘s legacy have been picked.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)