This is the Violent Femmes debut album, and it is great. The Violent Femmes have released a total of nine albums and I own this and "Hallowed Ground." Out of the two I slightly prefer this. Some debut albums can be quite unorganized and sloppy, but this is a magnificent and a well done debut. The Violent Femmes music consists of catchy folk/punk tunes and that's about it. While these songs are catchy and fun to sing a long to, they are not dull. All of these songs have a great amount of emotion and the lyrics are depressing in most cases. The vocals are sort of studdered and Gordon even wailes the lyrics some times. Although the vocals are sort of odd at first, they will grow on you.
Members : Gordon Gono - Vocals, guitar
Brian Ritchie - Bass, guitar, jaw harp, slide whistle
Victor De Lorenzeo - Drums, percussion, vocals
The Violent Femmes combine depressing lyrics with catchy folk/punk/pop tunes. Although I'm not a huge folk fan I really enjoy this album. The songs are angst-ridden and angry, while the music is catchy and accessible. I'm sure just about everyone has heard "Blister In The Sun", the catchy folk/pop tune that was a minor radio hit. "Blister In The Sun" is probably the most upbeat song on the album. This album isn't overally depressing, the songs are actually sort of playful and energetic in some points but the lyrics are depressing. Gordons stuttered or shrill vocals mix very well with the music. This album is great for angst-ridden teens just because the music is sort of tense and Gordon shows so much emotion in his voice. I'm not an angst-ridden teen, but this album really works for me because the songs are catchy and rebellious. This album was good when I was 12, and it's still good now that I'm older.
The instrumentation is fairly simple and it works great. The acoustic guitar dominates most of the sound. The vocals dominate the other half of the sound. The acoustic guitar shows up in all ten of these tracks and it mixes perfectly with the stuttered, wailed vocals. If you want some complex tunes, then don't look here because these songs are simple and catchy while the lyrics are tense and angry. Even though I enjoy complex music with lots of instruments the Violent Femmes perfect simple folk/pop songs because they don't try to do to much. They put in some drums, an acoustic guitar and great emotion. This music is tense, angry, emotional, rebellious, honest, and dark. The Violent Femmes mix all of these emotions in with catchy pop tunes, and it works great. I have to admit that there is a lot of simple catchy music out there but the Violent Femmes make catchy tunes and put all of there emotion into it.
When you first listen to this album the vocals might be a huge turn off at the beginning. They are sort of whiney and stuttered and they seem very weird. Even though the vocals are hard to get into you should keep listening because they will grow on you and they have great emotion. There is no filler on this album and 100% effert is shown on every one of these tracks. I think that a lot of people who listen to different genres of music can appreciate the Violent Femmes. This is for fans of punk/alternative/folk or even pop fans. The Violent Femmes may take some time to get used to, but once you let this whole album grow on you it is definately worth it.
This album doesn't show a whole lot of range, but it shows a little. "Blister In The Sun" and "Kiss Off" are the catchiest folk/pop tunes that kick off the album. These first two tracks will get stuck in your head and will never come out. While these two songs are the catchy/pop tunes "Confessions" features some great painful emotions lyrically and musically. "Please Do Not Go" is a slow relaxing track that is really effective if you want to relax or think about things. "To the Kill" is another slower number that is more of a chill out song. The lyrics are dark and angry on most of these tracks and while the Violent Femmes music is depressing in some ways it can be upbeat in others. "Gone Daddy Gone" even features a xylophone and is also very catchy!
Overall the Violent Femmes arn't absoluetely amazing in this album but they are excellent. This album is for someone who wants catchy music mixed with depressing teen-angst lyrics. The Violent Femmes are great musically and lyrically. They combine great folk/pop tunes with stuttered vocals to make great music for everyone. This album is simple yet very effective because it is emotional. The music is powerful and Gordons vocals are confused, bitter, paranoid, angry, and frusterated. To put it simple the Violent Femmes have great lyrics, catchy music, simple instrumentation, and a lot of emotion. This album was a big album in the early 80's and it is still remembered today for it's excellence. The Violent Femmes may not amaze you at first, but once you give this time to grow on you it will be hard to put down.
A lot of emotion in every track
Catchy folk/rock songs
Vocals can be hard to adjust to
Not a lot of depth
Recomended Tracks :
"Add It Up"
"Gone Daddy Gone"