Hole – Pretty on the Inside

ARTIST: Hole 220px-Hole_-_Pretty_on_the_Inside
TITLE: Pretty on the Inside
YEAR RELEASED: 1991
CHART ACTION: #73 US, #59 UK
SINGLES: Teenage Whore (#1 UK Indie), Garbage Man (Video)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Babydoll and Pretty on the Inside were on indie-leaning playlists for a spell.
LINEUP: Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson, Jill Emery, Caroline Rue.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Loud, disjointed punk / art noise record that would have been a curio of the time if the leader of the group wasn’t Courtney Love.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Hole’s (probably more Love of course) predilection for copying and perhaps stealing sounds, styles and references started with this record. Play a song, and you can almost guess the influences.

There are some great moments, where the cacophony makes sense and Love’s vocals play right with the music. Some cuts seem like re-writes of other songs. Some feel like Love and Hole wanted to go back to NYC around 1980 or so and hang out with Lydia Lunch and James Chance in a squalid loft. The lyrics aren’t the most upbeat in the world – but in some way they’re Love’s most believable set of lyrics. A punk rock scenester for years, she no doubt either saw or experienced a lot of what was going on in the album.

The biggest influence is Sonic Youth, as the guitar stylings, tunings and song structure. They wouldn’t be the first band to overtly steal from their idols. Love would run far, far away from this kind of music in just a couple of years. (Mind you, this record was made before she was canoodling with Kurt Cobain.)

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Kim Gordon OF Sonic Youth was a co-producer with Don Fleming. Love was trying to impress her idol. Believe it or not, everyone thought Love was a control freak. No doy…..

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: B-: Some is just unlistenable, and the whole thing wears on you after a while. Half the cuts are great though. I exiled the two worst noise tracks that added nothing to the proceedings.

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