Hole

Double Penetration

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Containing live performances from two very different periods of Hole's career, Double Penetration is one of the most revealing Hole bootlegs that surfaced in the late '90s. The CD offers a total of 16 tracks: nine from a December 11, 1998 show at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, and the other six from a set at the Reading Festival in Reading, England on August 26, 1994. A lot can happen in the course of four years, and for Hole, what happened was a radical makeover. The Courtney Love who belts out "Celebrity Skin," "Malibu," "Northern Star," and "Awful" in 1998 is leading a well-oiled, high-gloss pop-metal/hard rock machine, whereas the Love heard on "Jennifer's Body," "Asking for It," "Plump," and other grunge classics from 1994 is the old Love -- a self-destructive, out-of-control, volatile riot grrrl who many people believed wouldn't live to see 1998. Love sounds a lot more in control in 1998, although she still has her share of angst and is quite convincing when revisiting old favorites like "Miss World," "Doll Parts," and "Violet." To be sure, the Celebrity Skin material that Hole performs in 1998 lacks the primal urgency of the old Hole, which isn't to say that the more commercial Hole isn't exciting -- less threatening, certainly, but equally rewarding in a very different way. Inevitably, angry young rockers mature, calm down, and become less threatening; Double Penetration (which offers excellent sound quality on the 1998 recordings, and decent sound on the selections from 1994) indicates that Love, like John Lydon, Alice Cooper, and Iggy Pop before her, is no exception. Those who loved the old Hole but also found a lot to admire about Celebrity Skin will want to grab this bootleg if they come across any copies.