Artist: Violent Femmes
Title: Violent Femmes
Musicians: Gordon Gano-guitar, violin, lead vocals, Brian Ritchie-acoustic bass, xylophone, electric bass, vocals, Victor De Lorenzo-snare drum, trancephone, drum set, scotch marching bass drum, vocals
Producer: Mark Van Hecke
Engineer: Glen L Lorbiecki, John Tanner
This is the debut LP for The Violent Femmes.
Wikipedia: Violent Femmes is an American punk rock band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, initially active from 1980 to 1987 and again from 1988 to 2009. As of 2013, they are active again. The band has performed as a trio, including singer, guitarist and songwriter Gordon Gano, bassist Brian Ritchie, and four drummers: Victor DeLorenzo (1980–1993, 2002–2009 and 2013), Guy Hoffman (1993–2002), Brian Viglione (2013–2016), and John Sparrow (2016-present).
The Violent Femmes have released eight studio albums and fifteen singles during the course of their career. The band found immediate success with the release of their self-titled debut album in early 1983. Featuring many of their well-known songs, including “Blister in the Sun”, “Kiss Off”, “Add It Up” and “Gone Daddy Gone”, Violent Femmes became the band’s biggest-selling album and was eventually certified platinum by the RIAA. Violent Femmes went on to become one of the most successful alternative rock bands of the 1980s, selling over 9 million albums by 2005. After the release of their third album The Blind Leading the Naked (1986), the band’s future was uncertain and they split up in 1987, when Gano and Ritchie went solo. However, they regrouped a year later, releasing the album 3 (1989).
Violent Femmes was founded by bassist Brian Ritchie and percussionist Victor DeLorenzo following the demise of the initial wave of American punk rock, and became a full-fledged band upon the arrival of lead vocalist and guitarist Gordon Gano. According to Ritchie, he came up with the name of the group as a fake band name when one of his bandmates questioned his assertion that his brother was also in a band—he and DeLorenzo liked the name, so they used it for the rhythm duo they played in prior to Gano joining the group. In its early days, the band frequently played coffee houses and street corners. They were discovered by James Honeyman-Scott (of The Pretenders) on August 23, 1981, when the band was busking on a street corner in front of the Oriental Theatre, the Milwaukee venue that The Pretenders would be playing later that night. Chrissie Hynde invited them to play a brief acoustic set after the opening act.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violent_Femmes
Violent Femmes is the debut album by Violent Femmes. Mostly recorded in July 1982, the album was released by Slash Records on vinyl and on cassette in April 1983 and on CD in 1987 with two extra tracks “Ugly” and “Gimme the Car”. Obviously, I am reviewing the 1983 vinyl version here.
Violent Femmes is the band’s most successful album to date and went platinum eight years after its release. Most of the songs on both this album and its follow-up were written when the songwriter, Gordon Gano, was still in high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can hear the teen angst clearly in the lyrics throughout the LP.
The album is pretty much stripped down acoustic with the exception of a couple of places such as on the songs “Promise” and “To The Kill”. These guys play the crap out of their instruments. They have a very aggressive approach.
Some of the highlighted tracks are:
Kiss Off – There is an interesting bridge that is almost acoustic punk. My favorite line is “I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record.” “Oh yeah,?”
Please Do Not Go – This has an acoustic bass solo in the bridge
Add It Up – This is a sexual angst song and be warned for those who care, the F-bomb is dropped twice. My favorite line in this song is “Words to memorize, words hypnotize, words make my mouth exercise”.
Promise – Kind of an interesting song and one of the better ones on the LP
Gone Daddy Gone – Probably my favorite song on the LP for the xylophone if nothing else.
https://youtu.be/Blaqv4ZNieM (Gone Daddy Gone)