Hole

Retard Girl

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

Though clearly intended as a profound statement on the intolerance and depravity of humankind, "Retard Girl" is little more than a catalog of ugly childhood behaviors and impulses that mistakes shock value for substance. Eric Erlandson's lumpy, lurching guitar possesses none of the raw lyricism evidenced on subsequent Hole records, but Courtney Love's ear-splitting screech does achieve some kind of catharsis. The thrashy "Phonebill Song" is equally tuneless, although self-aware lyrics like "I'm a demon buttercup" suggest Love's larger-than-life persona was set in concrete long before the first drop of tabloid ink was spilled. "Johnnies in the Bathroom," a tedious exercise merging spoken word narrative, tape montage, and pig-squealing guitar feedback rounds out the set.