Scraping Genius Off The Wheel

REASSESSING COURTNEY LOVE’S HOLE REBOOT

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We’ve been rough on Courtney Love here, perhaps more than is really fair. I attribute that to the perverse temptation to comment on her continuing tabloid antics. Love’s decision last year to reboot Hole without co-founder Eric Erlandson — or any other prior collaborator — really stuck in my craw, and my initial reaction to the first single “Skinny Little Bitch” was pretty unfavorable. But now that I’ve had some more time with that track and a brand new one premiered this week, I’m questioning my prior stance on the forthcoming Nobody’s Daughter LP.

Yes, I know that many of you are so completely close-minded (shocker!) about Courtney Love and Hole that the very suggestion that she might pull this one off will send you directly to the comments box in apoplectic frothing fits. But, like it or not, Hole had — and has — its fair share of fans, from the early noise rock days of Pretty On The Inside to the riot grrl grunge of Live Through This to the polished alt-rock of Celebrity Skin — and like it or not, I’m one of those fans.

Earlier this week, those oh-so-hip cats at Stereogum premiered a free, downloadable MP3 of the studio version of “Samantha,” a track that feels a hell of a lot more like a successor to “Miss World” and “Malibu” than anything off Love’s patchy America’s Sweetheart. While it lacks the feminist ferocity of “Teenage Whore” or even “Celebrity Skin,” it sounds a lot more like Hole than what I heard from her aborted, leaked sophomore solo effort. The new backing band have retained the feel of Hole’s prior lineup with Erlandson and Melissa Auf Der Maur.

And about that backing band, I’ve come to terms with the fact that Love working without her former bandmates hasn’t turned into the disaster I’d previously anticipated. “Skinny Little Bitch” may not be Hole’s best single, but on repeated listens it has the grizzled hooks of “Violet” or “Jennifer’s Body” off Live Through This, which hopefully is a good indicator of the heavier cuts on Nobody’s Daughter. The album drops April 27 on some major label that doesn’t need a plug from me.

-GS

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