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Ew!: Here’s What “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Sounds Like Today

No matter how many gallons of twenty-somethings’ blood we inject, everybody still gets old and shitty. That goes double for so-called “classic songs.” Just because a track was hot shit 30 years ago doesn’t mean I can’t mock it based on standards that didn’t even exist at the time it was written.

Case in point: Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

For those who don’t remember, Nirvana was a one-hit wonder that released a couple of whatever hardcore punk anthems in the early 90s. The only one anybody really cared about was “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Legend has it that the song became so popular because lead singer Kurt Cobain yells something about an “avocado” in the chorus and that made listeners hungry for guacamole–which is delicious. At least, I’m pretty sure. Anyway, here’s a clip of what it sounded like to flannel-clothed dorks in 1991.

Pretty cool, right? The guitar sounds really raw and whoever their probably-dead drummer was could really smack him some drums. The singer’s got a lot of angst, but he pulls it off well. I mean, it’s no “Dookie” or anything, but it gets the job done.

But, of course, that was 27 years ago. We were curious what that song sounded like today, so we forced our intern to track down a clip. Here’s what she found.


You can hardly tell that’s even the same song! Not only is he no longer talking about avocados, the lead singer now screams about his libido or something? I may not be hip to the 90s lingo anymore, but that definitely means penis, right? And instrumentally, everything sounds so distorted like the recorded it through a megaphone. I thought my speakers were going to explode under the strain of trying to project anything that remotely sounds like music.

I’ve got a little advice for Nirvana’s lead singer, Curtis, if he’s out there dreaming of someday making a comeback–don’t be such a whiny Debbie Downer! Take your own advice and maybe, I don’t know, entertain us!

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