HLAH formed in Wellington, originally consisting of Nigel Regan, Mark Hamill, Nigel Beazley and Andrew Durno. Previous to HLAH forming Nigel Regan and Mark Hamill were playing in covers bands performing songs by artists such as early Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Sabbath, Faith No More, Nirvana, and Fugazi. This influential sound became known as 'alternative', a genre name which later expanded to meaninglessness.
At the end of 1990 Nigel Beazley returned to Wellington from art school in Auckland and was roped in as singer (even though he had never sung or been in a band in his life), as Nigel and Mark wished to disband the covers band and form an original band. The three of them went to their practice space at the 'Hopper Street Wharehouse' and after blasting though a rendition of 'War Pigs' by 'Black Sabbath' to see if Beazley could actually sing the decision was made and the band was born, minus a name and a bass player.
They started off playing small gigs at the Hopper Street warehouse, The Carpark, and Rocky's pub and soon started touring the university circuit. Having taken the name Head Like a Hole from a Nine Inch Nails song of that name, the band gained a following with outrageous gigs, performing naked and caked with mud, or with complete face and body paint. With a strong and dedicated following, HLAH got signed to Wildside Records, who at around the same time signed another Wellington act, Shihad.
In 1992, they recorded their first album, '13', at Writhe Studio. The band produced it themselves with the assistance of Brent McLaughlin. One of the singles off the album, 'Fish Across Face' made the New Zealand Top 10, however the video was pulled off air because of a scene where Nigel vomited some orange liquid into Booga's mouth (there happened to be a meningitis outbreak at the time).
HLAH continued touring the university orientation circuit and in 1993 returned to the studio to record material for a new album. The new album was recorded and given the title, 'Flik Y'Self Off Y'Self'. It was released in 1994 with two singles. 'Faster Hooves' was released, along with a video which featured Mark and Booga having a western style shoot out with finger guns. The other single was 'Spanish Goat Dancer'.
HLAH continued touring the country (including playing at the Big Day Out festival) and tragically in early 1996 their manager, Gerald Barry Dwyer (who also managed Shihad) died suddenly. They returned to the studio later in the year, this time at Sing Sing Studios in Australia to record their third album, 'Double Your Strength, Improve Your Health, & Lengthen Your Life'.
The first single off the album, 'Cornbag' was released in November 1996, and received some limited chart success. This was followed by the release of the album and more singles including 'A Crying Shame' (featuring the late Dwyer on trumpet), 'Keith' and 'Hootnanny'. HLAH performed at the 1997 Big Day Out as the final act after the headliners Soundgarden, and had a huge crowd in The Supertop. HLAH also released around this time a video for their cover of 'I'm on Fire', a Bruce Springsteen song.
By this time, the band had reduced the name Head Like a Hole to HLAH, following legal issues related to the name's origin. In November 1998, the band released its final original album, 'HLAH:IV - Are You Gonna Kiss It Or Shoot It?', along with accompanying singles, 'Wet Rubber' and 'Juicy Lucy'.
Sometime in 2000, the band disbanded. A 'Best of' album was released in November, entitled 'Blood On the Honky Tonk Floor'. 'Blood On the Honkey Tonk Floor' featured two discs, the first covering the band's best and most recognised songs, while the second included all of the cover songs the band had recorded over their career.
In September 2008, HLAH announced it would be reuniting for the Vodafone Homegrown music festival for March 2009.