No Apologies: All 102 Nirvana Songs Ranked

RS tackles the complete catalog of the band that defined the Nineties and made the world a lot noisier

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51. "Swap Meet"

This Bleach track is one of the most tempestuous and restless in Nirvana's catalogue. The guitar playing is as anxious as sweaty hands, and Chad Channing's drums race ahead of the action like he's late for a meeting. The feeling fits the content, in which Cobain sets the scene of two hometown losers too busy exchanging "arts and crafts" to shut up and have sex already. Cobain wasn't known as a storyteller, but he was known as a Seattle thrift-store fiend (see his guitars and amplifiers) years before Macklemore. This caustic snapshot of life back home, then, works like a snapshot jotted down from one such swap meet, the outsider judging the insiders from the periphery. As Nirvana's reputation grew, this small-town send-up seemed to fall out of favor, with the band playing it less than almost any song released on an official studio album. Too bad: It's a musical fistfight. GRAYSON HAVER CURRIN

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