20th Anniversary of Live Through This: 1994-2014

If the idea of a band composed almost entirely of women who love screaming and heavy guitar scares you, Hole probably is not the music for you.

If you’re someone looking for an alternative, unique sound with powerful messages and meaningful lyrics, then you might want to keep reading.

April marks the twentieth anniversary of their second album, Live Though This.

The band consists of singer and guitarist Courtney Love, drummer Patty Schemel, bassist Melissa Auf der Maur, and guitarist Eric Erlandson.

Track by Track Review of Live Through This

The album itself takes less than forty minutes to listen to; it’s execution is quick and unforgettable.

  • “Violet”: Go on, take everything, I want you to!

The opening track veers between delicate and angry, it is an anthem of thinly veiled strength. Love challenges the listener to try and tear her apart, go ahead and do it. Only then will she release all her wrath. It is accompanied by alternating strong riffs, small amounts of gentle guitar and light drum fills.

  • “Miss World” I’m Miss World…somebody kill me

“Miss World” slowly builds with vocals overpowering quiet instrumentals until the two come together in a short and repetitious chorus. The verses make the backbone of the song an anthem of girl-power mixed with loneliness and longing. The guitar fills in this song are simple but amazingly interwoven.

  • “Plump” They say I’m plump, but I throw up all the time…

This song breaks the glass that was surrounding the previous two. Most of it is hard, rough rock at its best with small fills of childlike questioning. Angry guitar and loud drums are behind the scratchy vocals and a bassline strums quietly in the background, keeping the song steady.

  • “Asking for It” Was she asking for it? Did she ask you twice?

Perhaps the best song on the album, it is a standalone question of the rape culture and the blame society puts on the victim. Love had written the song about stagediving in a dress and being horrifyingly disrespected and mutilated by the crowd. This song is indescribable in its message and its beauty. It is a scream to the horrors of American culture, a song that is perfectly created and cannot be ignored.

  • “Jennifer’s Body” I’m purity, hit me again….

This song returns to the origins of “Plump,” it is loud and catchy and scratchy and has wailing vocals and strong electric guitars. It’s about relationship abuse, and Love conveys this through metaphors and expressions that make it a painful listen. One of the lines is “You’re hungry, but I’m starving”: after this song, you will be starving for more of Hole’s hard rock.

  • ”Doll Parts” Someday, you will ache like I ache…

Simply put, this song hurts. It is easy to relate to and hard to forget. The entire song is quiet, there are no angry fills and no screaming choruses and no overpowering drums. Love’s voice is filled with longing and heartbreak and the entire song is a perfect tragedy.

  • “Credit in the Straight World” You take away my time, my peace, my empathy..

This is a cover of a song by a band called Young Marble Giants. Hole’s version sounds like two separate songs, the first is an ethereal drone-like anthem, the second with distorted guitars and heavy drums. It’s definitely unique from all the other songs on the album.

  • “Softer, Softest” I’ve got a blister from touching everything I see…

This song runs along the lines of “Doll Parts”, with the end of the song being reminiscent of “Asking for It”. It’s simple and hurtful. Underneath the sweet overtones is anger and underneath the anger is confusion. Vocally, Love goes out farther than you can see and then brings her voice back again. The song’s genius.

  • “She Walks on Me” Geeks do not have pedigrees, or perfect punk rock resumes..

If you are looking for a traditionally loud, dirty punk sound, you probably want to listen to this song. Drum fills are loud and fast. I don’t even know if you can describe most of the vocals as singing. As to the song’s meaning, Love said “You know how when you’re in high school and there’s that one girl and she tries to copy you and you’re already a big freak anyway and nobody likes you, but then she tries to copy you and get popular over it? That’s what this song is about.”

  • “I Think That I Would Die” She lost all her innocence, she said I am not a feminist”…

The song starts off slow and you can tell that it’s the calm before the storm. The song begins with spoken word and delves into a sing-song type verse, which in turn prepares you for Love’s all powerful screams. It’s an interesting song, alternating between light and heavy riffs and lyrics.

  • “Gutless” I dont really miss God, but I sure miss Santa Claus

The song is a mix between mocking verse and screaming chorus. It is a rough song, and its placement in the album shows the buildup of the band’s intensity throughout, as seen by the previous two songs. It’s not a song for the faint of heart, you don’t want to listen to this while you’re doing yoga: when you feel like yelling, listen to “Gutless.”

  • “Rock Star” Everyone’s the same, and so are you!

The song starts off with some sassy spoken word that leads into a heart-stopping scream and into a chorus that’s messy in a good way. It jumps between the tone of the beginning of the song and yells by Love: a true punk anthem. Smashing drums lead into a breakdown at the end of the song with a whisper by Love of “No, we’re not done!” into a whirlwind of music that ends with a “goodbye.”