Monday, August 25, 2008

School Days: Olympia

Hole: Olympia


Though there are plenty of words in this 1994 song, they are universally adolescent, repetitive and angsty without containing much meaning. No surprise there; like lead singer and infamous skank Courtney Love, Hole is known for many wonderful loud and grungy things, but poetic depth isn't one of them. Still, near as I can figure, the premise here is that the narrator, who went to school in Olympia, Washington, found teen culture there to be universally adolescent, repetitive, and angsty without containing much meaning.

It's not a new or unique conceit by any means, but Hole's punked out garage-grunge sound strikes an especially effective pose for the age-old complaint. From its multiple false starts to its closing feedback whine to the drug-addled fuzz of second-round sound that comes back to haunt the track after you thought it was all over, the song is a wonderful example of the ways in which the musical scene in the American Northwest of the early nineties spoke to and for yet another generation of youth alienated from the norm, looking for an outlet for their rage, sure they were the only ones to ever demand rebellion.

Note: this song previously appeared in our Fifty States theme. Happily, it still rocks.

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