For fans of deep, sludgy rock there was a miracle that occurred on January 1st, 2010. Chris Cornell, most recently the lead singer of Audioslave, announced that he was getting back together with all of the members of his original band Soundgarden for a new album and tour. In a world full of shallow, vacuous pop singers like Ke$ha this was welcome news, indeed.
Then at the beginning of April yet another minor miracle occurred when the walking human disaster known as Courtney pulled her act together and released an all new song. This time, however, she was wise enough to do so under the auspices of her band Hole which at least has a decent back catalog of music for touring-not something that could be said of her mediocre solo work.
The new Hole album is titled “Nobody’s Daughter” and is set to be released at the end of April. For this outing Courtney used two very talented producers-Billy Corgin from The Smashing Pumpkins and Linda Perry who has created huge hits for everyone from P!NK to Christina Aguilera.
But does the Linda Perry connection mean that Hole is suddenly moving from the breezy 70’s rock sound of their last album “Celebrity Skin” to pure pop? Well, if the first single from “Nobody’s Daughter” is anything to go by I would have to say that this album will likely have more in common with Hole’s best record, 1994’s tortured grunge classic “Live Through This.”
Never one with much of a gift for understatement, the first track from Courtney Love’s new record is simply titled Skinny Little Bitch.” It’s a tasty little nugget of sludgy guitars, heavy drums and her trademark enunciation where she drags out vowel sounds. If you don’t know what I am talking about take her delivery of this sample lyric from Skinny Little Bitch, “your bedroom walls (pronounced waulls) are falling down (pronounced dauwn)/And everyone (eavariwun) can see you now (nauw).”
The song, in pure 90’s grunge style builds slowly to a repetitive, rage filled crescendo. As the drum speed increases and the guitars get more distorted Ms. Love repeats with increasing vitriol, “Skinny Little Bitch!/Skinny Little Bitch!/Skinny Little Bitch!” It may sound juvenile and pedestrian but when you are suffering a bout of automotive road rage some repetitive ranting can be very effective.
In these economically and socially unsure times is it also any wonder that people might need music with a little bit more of an angry edge? Bands like Soundgarden and Hole came to prominence in the 1990’s with songs about struggle, anger and feeling beaten down. Back then people didn’t “flash their bling” and the average 16 year old could not afford Louis Vuitton. Remember when most people couldn’t afford it? Well, that’s happening again. Welcome back Hole and Soundgarden. Oh, how rock has missed you.
Note: The new Hole album “Nobody’s Daughter” comes out April 27th. Soundgarden is currently working in the studio and their album as of yet has no release date.