#tbt Violent Femmes / Violent Femmes (1983)
The Violent Femmes began with drummer Victor DeLorenzo and bassist Brian Ritchie as a basic rhythm and bass group. After Gordan Gano joined they began touring coffeehouses. Classified as “folk punk”, the Violent Femmes were discovered by The Pretenders when they were busking outside the Oriental Theater in Milwuakee, Wisconsin. What started out as a joke name, their self-titled debut is their most popular record, achieving gold and platinum status before even reaching Billboard album charts. Gano’s deadpan vocals complimented the natural punky style the band came to rest upon, delivering infectious vocal melodies simultaneously brimming with confidence and insecurity. With most of the songs lacking distortion and Gano not ripping many solos, Ritchie’s bass lines often take center stage with solos and leads throughout the album. Gano’s subjects usually revolve around love and rejection, at which he croons both desperately and passionately. Violent Femmes, a classic record, can only be described as “ageless”. It broke down walls in an era where most subversive music was reproducing post punk, electronic and new wave sounds. Check out the album below.