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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

‘Violent Femmes’ are back with new sound

Promotional photo for the album. Photo courtesy of the official Facebook page for “Violent Femmes.”

Picture an angry teenager forming a punk band singing songs about how you should “Kiss Off”; add a dash of folk to the sound and the music styling of the “Violent Femmes” is created.

Formed in 1981, the band that generated major hits like “Blister In The Sun” and “Kiss Off” is back again with their first new album in 15 years, titled “We Can Do Anything.”

Their music is best described as jittery, raw and flooded with materialized angst and emotions, creating the best possible combination. The blend of unlikely sounds melting in to one another creates a new genre in itself.

In past hits, “Violent Femmes” could be coined almost as a soundtrack for angry adolescence everywhere, however their new album features less hostility and more reliance on a folk sort of feeling.

The first song on their new album, “Memory,” encompasses this indescribable sense the band is known for. The band’s new album is seen as more of a reinvented version of “Violent Femmes.” It almost seems as if they grew out of their angst in the 15-year duration of no music releases.

Half the songs on the album seem reinvented and the other half stays true to their initial sound, like the songs “Holy Ghost” and “Untrue Love” for example.

Their self-titled album in 1983 seems so drastically different than this new album. Their album from way back then is fueled by punk influences and humorous lines, yet in “We Can Do Anything” the punk is overpowered by the amount of folk utilized in their songs and completely mellows out their sound.

As a fan of “Violent Femmes,” I can’t help but compare their work to their old sound. I enjoy their music and style regardless of how much they evolve over the years, and this album is definitely one I will keep listening to. I think their experimentation with their sound is a great way to keep their fans eager to see what more they are capable of.

It is hard to categorize or even describe the type of music the “Violent Femmes” can craft. The only way to even begin to try and understand it is by listening to them firsthand, and this album is a good place to start.

Carly Plemons can be reached at [email protected] or @plemnz on Twitter.

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Carly Plemons, Editor-in-chief

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