Mad Sneaks Releases Unconventional Nirvana Cover

Who knew the xylophone could be rock n’ roll?

Since its debut on 1991’s “Nevermind”, Nirvana’s Something in the Way has re-emerged in mainstream popularity after appearing on The Batman’s soundtrack. Despite the evergreen qualities of the song, perhaps in the slow tempo or apathetic vocal delivery, or maybe just being a song by Nirvana, there is something about the track that is quintessentially 90s. This is why Mad Sneaks is the perfect band to cover it.

Mad Sneaks is a rock group heavily inspired by the 90s, taking influence from grunge greats like Mud Honey, Pearl Jam, and of course, Nirvana. Regardless of the apparent 90s influence, Mad Sneaks doesn’t just repackage the work of their heroes. The band is known for their original songs, and when they do a cover, they do it their way.

Compared to the original arrangement of bass, guitar and drums with string accompaniment, Mad Sneaks reimagines the grunge classic while still paying respects to one of the most influential rock bands ever. By using unconventional instruments in their version, they achieve a sound that is unexpected yet somehow perfect. The cover has a heavier quality than expected from a recording with a xylophone and mandolin. The droning rhythm is hypnotic, almost like white or brown noise, and the playful xylophone demands it not be misunderstood: this is still a Nirvana song. The lyrical delivery is in the same strained, whispery style Kurt Cobain originally recorded.

Covering someone as iconic as Nirvana can be daunting. How does one record a song so cherished without coming off as disrespectful? How much creative freedom is too much? Mad Sneaks manages to explore the possibilities while staying within a respectful range. The proof? The team responsible for Nirvana’s catalogue fully supported Mad Sneaks in releasing the cover.

While recording a song so iconic comes with its difficulties, Mad Sneaks manages to pay homage while playing in the room left over for innovation. The resulting reimagined classic is neither a carbon copy nor too experimental, and Mad Sneaks allows the listener to appreciate the original song and their interpretation of it simultaneously.


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