Sunday, 2 April 2017

Oliver!: Hole - Drown Soda [Peel Session] (13 March 1992)

Having repeated the Red Hour session from 4/1/92 on his previous programme, Peel repeated the Hole session from 5/1/92 on this programme.  I'm starting to see a pattern here....

I hadn't been able to include Drown Soda with the other selections from their session, due to it not being on the tape that I listened to.  Listening to the session in isolation, I had said that Drown Soda struck me as the best performance on the session, though I'm more inclined to give that nod to Violet now.  Regardless, I'm delighted to be able to include this excellent track here at last.  Building from dismodulated guitar sounds and a Red Indian drum beat, Courtney Love delivers a lyric of pure nihilism.  Someone or something is coming for you, and their march to your door is relentless.  The line, "Just you wait till everyone is hooked" implies addiction to drugs, and they were certainly impinging more and more into Love's life.  Equally, given her self-positioning at the time as the kick up the arse which rock music needed, the destructive cycle of kidnap (from obscurity), use (by the machine - industry - fans) and death (due to drowning under the weight of the role she has taken on) could also be being played out here.

Although the 1992 variation of Courtney Love was robust and fresh enough to say "Bring it on" to all these new challenges, she doesn't lack self-awareness about the task.  It's hard not to hear the line, "Are you gonna sit and watch me?/Watch me while I drown!" as anything other than an early cry for help. On another level, the track works a a conversation with her husband (they had been married for a fortnight when this programme went out), who was undergoing a similar and higher profile change to his life and expectations.

Peel dedicated the session to Hole's former bassist Jill Emery and expressed his disquiet at reports that she had left due to Hole moving towards a more "pop" orientated direction, ... "There are so many bands doing pop, but only one band doing Hole."

Video courtesy of youshotandywarhol.

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