Violent Femmes
Hallowed Ground


4.5
superb

Review

by STOP SHOUTING! USER (28 Reviews)
January 3rd, 2010 | 12 replies


Release Date: 1985 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Gordon Gano takes a seat on the psychiatrist's couch.

Yes Mr Gano, nice to see you again! Please come in and take a seat on the couch. Now, in your first consultation you sang about your mother and how you would like to, err, copulate with her. Indeed I believe you expressed similar, err, keen interest in other female members of your family. As we discussed, there is a line to be drawn in the sand and perhaps regrettably we crossed it on that occasion.

"Well, I'm a thinkin and thinkin, till there's nothin I ain't thunk. Breathing in the stink, till finally I stunk.
It was at that time, I swear I lost my mind. I started making plans to kill my own kind."
(Country Death Song)

Now Mr Gano, these are exactly the type of sentiments we need not dwell on. But I must commend you on your adoption of a country and western style, it serves somehow to magnify your hysteria.

"I hear the rain. I hear the rain. I hear the rain. Got to kill the pain.
I hear the rain. I hear the rain. I hear the rain. Got to kill the pain."
(I Hear The Rain)

Ah much better! May I compliment you on the hybrid fusion of gospel and folk that informs this song? And yes, indeed, I believe there may be a spot of rain in the air.

"Sink down, sink down, sink down, down, down to the bottom of the river.
Sink down, sink, sink down down. down, down, to the bottom of the river, sink down sink.
Sink down, down. Down, down to the bottom of the river.
SINK DOWN, SINK, SINK DOWN DOWN. DOWN, DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THE RIVER."
(Never Tell)

Mr Gano, I must ask you to desist. There are flecks of your spittle splattering my spectacles. But you do reveal here the beneficial influences of punk: testorone-fuelled aggression stripped of all superfluousness.

"Jesus walkin on the water. Sweet Jesus walkin in the sky.
Sinking sand, took my hand, raised me up and brought me up."
(Jesus Walking On The Water)

As a psychiatrist and a man of science, I cannot in all truth advocate your theological stance. But if it provides you with some kind of moral framework to help live your life as a respectable citizen, who am I to judge?

"I know it's true but i'm sorry to say I just can't handle things this way.
I know its late but i'd like to stay a while and see you smile."
(I Know It's True But I'm Sorry To Say)

Ah lovely Gordon. May I call you Gordon, Gordon?

"Everyone's tryin to decide where to go when there's no place to hide. I follow the bombs as they're comin down. This must have been ... hallowed ground ... Ooooooo ooo ooo ooooo ooo oo o o " (Hallowed Ground)

Your demented religious fervour puts me in mind of Jim Morrison on speed. What a cacophony of sound! How apt for a song about a nuclear holocaust, with the rythmn section swinging short, sharp punches, like going four minutes in a boxing ring. Oh Gordon, I'm flooded with endomorphins!

"Could i buy you a dress or something? Could I buy you some jewellery or something?
Would you go out with me or something? Would you sleep with me or something?"
(Sweet Misery Blues)

Despite your idiosyncracies, you still retain a certain charm you know Gordon.

"I dig the black girls, oh so much more than the white girls. I was so pleased to learn they were faster." (Black Girls)

I would advise caution with such empirical generalisations Mr Gano. I'm sure both types of, err, ladies have their, err, virtues. But I confess my own sample size in this field is regrettably limited.

"I dig the white boys, oh so much more that the black boys. So pleased to learn they're not smarter.
Oh, oh, oh, give it to me harder."
(Black Girls)

I don't think it is efficacious to proceed in this vein Mr Gano.

"It's gonna rain, it's gonna rain, I said it's gonna rain, it's gonna rain. Yes, it's gonna rain, it's gonna rain. I'm so happy to say it's gonna rain, oh it's gonna rain, it's gonna rain on the world today. Fourty days and fourty nights, it's gonna rain. Fourty days and fourty nights, it's gonna rain. Halleluyah it's gonna rain." (It's Gonna Rain)

Yes, there are certainly some dark clouds around. Well we seem to have come to the end of our consultation. It's been err ... interesting.



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Violent Femmes

Comments:Add a Comment 
somberlain
January 3rd 2010


2121 Comments


well this is err... interesting
I'm not gonna rip you for it, it's a cool concept but I have no idea what this album is like or even how much YOU like it except for the rating

MrBobDobbelina
January 4th 2010


20 Comments


Cool review! Dig your style!
I like the way you have a conversation with the band using the lyrics of the songs and than adding short bits of info about the style of the songs.
I'll check this one out.

RobotFrank
January 4th 2010


344 Comments


Very creative, nice work. Not enough people trying to do something different, def appreciate this sort of thing.

STOP SHOUTING!
January 4th 2010


748 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well I'm not sure if the humour worked, but I thought I would try something different.



As for the music, it's probably one of the best albums in the 80s. A blend of folk, punk, gospel, country and blues with completely crazy lyrics.

vanderb0b
April 27th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Odd review. Then again, it's an odd album, so I'll pos.

jefflebowski
October 30th 2011


8549 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best album, why in god's name does this have such a low average rating?



Never Tell is a stone-cold classic

jefflebowski
January 28th 2012


8549 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

can everyone please just man up and accept that this is better than the debut

Funeralopolis
March 13th 2013


14074 Comments


nope

ojorgesobral
July 20th 2013


14 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

never tell is the fucking song!! The intensity that Violent Femmes create in some of their songs, is one of the best things you can find in music.

jefflebowski
July 21st 2013


8549 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^truth, never tell is incredible

Jasdevi087
July 27th 2015


4497 Comments


well this review is... different.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 8th 2016


19046 Comments


this album is kinda cool. just got back from their concert and it was decent



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