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Music / Incesticide

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She keeps it pumping straight to my heart...

Incesticide is a compilation album by Nirvana, released in 1992. It was released after the unexpected overnight sensation monster success of Nevermind from 1991. To fans who discovered the group through that album the songs on Incesticide were perceived as new, but in reality a majority of them were from EP's and B-sides from singles released between 1989 and 1992. In fact, the material was already circulating among early members of the band's fanbase, and the album simply provided easier access to them in higher quality. Originally intended to be released under Sub Pop as Cash Cow (an obvious jab at their unexpectedly quick rise to stardom), the band decided to have their recordings sold over to DGC Records (onto whom the band were currently signed) in order to give the material more exposure.


While not as famous or successful as Nirvana's actual studio albums (in part due to DGC intentionally under-promoting the album to prevent audience burnout), the album was still a critical success and a decent commercial hit, debuting at No. 51 on the Billboard 200 and peaking at No. 39, selling 500,000 copies within its first two months of release, and being certified double-platinum by the RIAA. The album additionally contains the fan favourites "Sliver" and "Aneurysm."



  1. "Dive" (3:55)
  2. "Sliver" (2:16)
  3. "Stain" (2:41)
  4. "Been a Son" (1:56)
  5. "Turnaround" (2:19)
  6. "Molly's Lips" (1:54)
  7. "Son of a Gun" (2:48)
  8. "(New Wave) Polly" (1:48)
  9. "Beeswax" (2:50)
  10. "Downer" (1:44)
  11. "Mexican Seafood" (1:55)
  12. "Hairspray Queen" (4:14)
  13. "Aero Zeppelin" (4:41)
  14. "Big Long Now" (5:04)
  15. "Aneurysm" (4:36)

Principal Members:

  • Chad Channing - Drums
  • Kurt Cobain - Lead vocals, guitar
  • Dale Crover - Drums
  • Dave Grohl - Drums
  • Krist Novoselic - Bass guitar
  • Dan Peters - Drums

Hairspray Tropes:

  • Ascended Glitch: During Nevermind's version of "Polly", Kurt accidentally starts the "Polly says" verse too early, pauses, and then re-starts on the right spot. "(New Wave) Polly", despite being recorded later, intentionally recreates the mistake.
  • As the Good Book Says...: "Been a Son:"
    She should've worn the crown of thorns
  • B-Side: Most tracks here are B-sides.
  • Break Up Song: "Aneurysm" was written by Cobain about his ex-girlfriend Tobi Vail, whom he wanted to get back.
    Come on over... Do the twist
    Overdo it... And have a fit
  • Broken Record:
    • "Sliver:"
    Grandma, take me home, grandma take me home, grandma take me home
    • "Aneurysm:"
    Beat me, out of me
  • The Cameo: In the music video of "Sliver," released in March 1993 Cobain's daughter Frances Bean has a cameo appearance.
  • Cover Version: "Turnaround" by Devo and the Vaselines' songs "Molly's Lips" and "Son of a Gun."
  • Cymbal-Banging Monkey: Appears in the music video of "Sliver."
  • Design Student's Orgasm: The album cover art was painted and designed by Kurt Cobain himself.
  • Evil Laugh: Cobain is heard laughing at the end of "Aero Zeppelin."
  • Greatest Hits Album: The album compiles several singles released by Nirvana between 1989 and 1992, but subverts this trope by the fact that none of them were real hits.
  • Homage: "Aero Zeppelin" to Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: Incesticide, though a lot of people probably misread it as "Insecticide."
  • Last Note Nightmare: Inverted with "Son of a Gun." Despite the massive screech at the beginning, it's otherwise a straightforward cover of one of the poppiest songs the band ever did.
  • Locked in the Dungeon: "Big Long Now:"
    Endless climb
    I am blind
    Why can't I leave?
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Sliver" is a heavy song with pretty innocent lyrics about a child nagging to go back home and waking up after a falling asleep on the trip home.
  • Miniscule Rocking: "Been a Son," which is under two minutes long.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: "Sliver," about a little boy being picked up by his parents and waking up later from falling asleep during the trip.
  • Non-Appearing Title: The album title doesn't appear in any of the lyrics.
    • Many songs' titles as well, including "Sliver," "Aneurysm," "Aero Zeppelin," "Mexican Seafood," "Hairspray Queen," "Big Long Now," and "Downer."
  • Obsession Song:
    • "Dive:"
    Pick me, pick me
    Everyone is waiting
    • "Aneurysm:"
    Come on over... Do the twist
    Overdo it... And have a fit
    (...) Love you so much it makes me sick
  • One-Woman Song: "Polly" and "Hairspray Queen."
  • One-Word Title: "Dive," "Sliver," "Stain," "Turnaround," "Beeswax," "Downer," and "Aneurysm."
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: Discussed by Kurt in the liner notes, in which he calls out and disowns homophobes, racists, sexists, and rapists who were fans of the band. Kurt sarcastically apologizes for being "so anally P.C.," stating that his comments are simply a reflection of how he feels regarding Nirvana's audience.
  • Pun-Based Title: Incesticide is a pun on "incest" and "insecticide."
  • Rape as Drama: "Polly," based on a real-life serial killer who held a woman captive.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: "Polly," unfortunately based on a real life serial killer and kidnapper. "Aneurysm" was written by Kurt Cobain about his ex-girlfriend Tobi Vail, in whose presence he once did get so nervous that he threw up, as the song alludes to.
  • Rearrange the Song: "(New Wave) Polly", a faster and more aggressive rendition of "Polly" off of Nevermind. As the name implies, this version is more In the Style of... New Wave Music compared to the brooding, acoustic version included on the band's second album.
  • Record Producer: Several songs were produced by different people: Jack Endino, Steve Fisk, Dale Griffin, Miti Adhikari, and Butch Vig.
  • Repurposed Pop Song: "Polly," played here in a New Wave version, appeared earlier on Nevermind (1991).
  • Song Style Shift: "Aneurysm" goes from up-tempo to a different slower groove, all before the first verse is even sung.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Kurt spells his name as "Kurdt" in the liner notes.
  • Stress Vomit: "Aneurysm:"
    Love you so much, it makes me sick!
  • Take That, Audience!: The liner notes make it clear in no uncertain terms that Kurt doesn't want bigots (and, horrifyingly, worse) in his audience:
    At this point I have a request for our fans. If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us – leave us the fuck alone! Don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records.

    Last year, a girl was raped by two wastes of sperm and eggs while they sang the lyrics to our song 'Polly." I have a hard time carrying on knowing there are plankton like that in our audience. Sorry to be so anally P.C. but that's the way I feel.


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