Named from a mixtape that Kurt made and was later discovered in his collection of things put into storage, Montage of Heck is a collection of recordings made at home that Kurt had recorded himself. They are transferred across from tape and of course are very home recording quality wise.
Across the 31 “tracks” we are offered a jumbled insight into Kurt’s life. From the “Yodel Song”, “What More Can I Say” and “And I Love Her” you are offered some of the more formed demo tracks that show elements of what would become other songs. You also get a few early demo versions of final songs like “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle”, “Sappy” and “Clean Up Before She Comes” however more often than not they cut off part way through and if the audio hasn’t been cleaned up, it makes it a very difficult listen.
However the main content comes from Kurt’s weird and wonderful humour. Talking to himself, or making a creepy commercial or just jamming and shouting random chords. It offers a real insight into his writing and creative process but these in the most aren’t really suitable for listening to. Some of them are funny like “Beans” but most are a mess like three minutes of guitar reverb or just a single riff repeated a few times and that’s it. It feels like you’ve taken a snapshot at the very beginning of the creative process without actually being able to filter or distil the good stuff down.
As a result, very little content that’s new is really worth your time – even for super Nirvana/Kurt fans. There are better sounding demos already out there and whilst the warped mind of Kurt is intriguing to listen to, it’s not enough to recommend listening to a mans drug fuelled rambles about how unhappy he is with the world – even if what he is saying is a very sharp reflection on the world around him.