Fecal Matter was Kurt Cobain’s first band dating back to 1985. It featured Kurt Cobain on guitar and vocals and Dale Crover (of the Melvins) on drums. Cobain recorded several songs on his Aunt’s recording equipment and handed out cassettes (titled “Illiteracy Will Prevail”) to people he knew. Eventually, after the band broke up, Krist Novoselic finally listened to his copy and Nirvana was formed.
The cassette was first rumored to exist in Michael Azerrad’s 1993 Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana. Azerrad’s book is still the definitive volume on the band. He conducted more interviews with Kurt Cobain than anyone else. [Note: the recently released film, "Kurt Cobain: About a Son", was entirely culled from these extensive interviews. In my view, this also makes it the definitive film about Kurt Cobain.]
Since only several copies were believed to still exist, this cassette became the “Holy Grail” of Nirvana bootlegs since it’s first mention. Everyone wanted it, but no one had it. It was so desired that a faked copy turned up in 1997.
A copy was proven to exist when “Spank Thru” was included on the completely unnecessary 2005 money-making release “Silver: Best of the Box”. Based on that track, this ultra-rare cassette seemed to be nothing more than low-fi Bleach-era Nirvana material.
Surprisingly, most of the cassette was finally leaked in November. I guess this wasn’t big news–I hadn’t even heard of the leak until a couple days ago.
10 tracks of the rumored 16 are now available on the internets (I’ll let you find them on your own).
Tracklist (currently available):
When I first heard these I was not only surprised with their quality (it doesn’t sound like shit) but also how great the songs were. Only “Spank Thru” and “Downer” (in a much different form) were on any Nirvana releases.
This is NOT Bleach-era Nirvana. In my view, the songs are much more towards the experimental/noisy side–an area I always wish Nirvana had headed. Not surprisingly, Cobain claimed this was intentional. He claimed he was a big fan of the Butthole Surfers and Scratch Acid at the time. For Nirvana’s debut, Bleach, he claimed Sub-Pop told the band to tone down this aspect of thier music.
This is as noisy as you will ever hear Kurt Cobain. Hopefully the other 6 tracks will surface soon. Enjoy.