The music world seems to be in the grips of Nirvana-mania once agains, this time thanks to the 20th anniversary reissue of the legendary grunge band's 1993 masterpiece In Utero. To pay tribute to that mind-blowing record, Hand Drawn Dracula helped curate a free digital covers collection called Milkin' It, featuring a selection of Toronto acts playing songs from the record.
The compilation was co-curated by Greys and the Wooden Sky. They both contribute, as do Beliefs, Teenanger, Odonis Odonis, Hooded Fang, Absolutely Free, the Weather Station, Lowell Sostomi of Great Bloomers, Doomsquad, Fresh Snow & Julie Fader, HSY, Breeze and more. In addition to the 12 cuts from In Utero, the collection includes covers of four B-sides from the period: "I Hate Myself and Want to Die," "Sappy," "Moist Vagina" and "Marigold."
Some of the covers stay relatively faithful to the source material; Greys' version of "Scentless Apprentice" is jarring and manically heavy, while the Wooden Sky's "All Apologies" is bittersweet rock. Others take more significant liberties, as Ostrich Tuning redo "Rape Me" as a psych-folk dirge, Fresh Snow & Julie Fader turn "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle" into downtempo shoegaze, and the Weather Station effectively turn "Pennyroyal Tea" into angelic electro-folk.
The album was sparked by the Wooden Sky's aforementioned version of "All Apologies," which they recorded in early 2012 with no plans of how to release it. A press release explains, "The compilation exists primarily for two reasons, the first being to take a snapshot of a particularly fertile, vital moment in Toronto's musical history which, for all we know, may be inspiring a younger generation as it happens. The second, of course, is simply to pay tribute to three guys from a rainy corner of the continent who first inspired us to do what we do."
Scroll past the tracklist below to stream it. It's also available as a free download at Hand Drawn Dracula's website here.
1. Breeze - "Serve the Servants"
2. Greys - "Scentless Apprentice"
3. Beliefs - "Heart-Shaped Box"
4. Ostrich Tuning - "Rape Me"
5. Fresh Snow & Julie Fader - "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle"
6. Lowell Sostomi - "Dumb"
7. Teenanger - "Very Ape"
8. Absolutely Free - "Milk It"
9. The Weather Station - "Pennyroyal Tea"
10. Odonis Odonis - "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter"
11. Hooded Fang - "Tourette's"
12. The Wooden Sky - "All Apologies"
13. Doomsquad - "I Hate Myself and Want to Die"
14. Milk Lines - "Sappy"
15. HSY - "Moist Vagina"
16. Tess Parks - "Marigold"