Thursday, April 14, 2016

Album Review: Violent Femmes- We Can Do Anything

Violent Femmes
We Can Do Anything
**and1/2 out of *****

For a quirky band, not releasing an album in 16 years then putting out one that so closely resembles their past work (if watered down) was odd, but We Can Do Anything also reminds that even when the Violent Femmes are average, they are still worth a listen.

While Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchie ever recording new music is a bit of a shock the music contained really isn't; rambling acoustic, upbeat tracks make up the short release. Backed by drummer Brian Viglione the group stays true to their original style throwing it back right from the start with "Memory". This track is the best one here in that classic Femme style, strumming/skittering strumming with Gano's pleading lyrics and an infectious bouncing acoustic bass from Ritchie closing along in clunky offbeat fashion.

"I Could Be Anything" brings back the childlike vibe that is present from the cover art while disk closer "I'm Not Done" dips back into the bands country touches to end the album. In-between those two tracks the band messes around with adult "Issues" (even rhyming tissues) and "Untrue Love" which deals with, untrue love, shockingly, neither very successfully. Musically the group gets the most out there with "Holy Ghost" incorporating loops, backward tapes and electronics before falling back into an acoustic offering.

All of this is simply passable but the band puts an interesting twist onto the album with their most beautiful/simple/direct song of their career, that is credited to Gano's sister, titled "What You Really Mean". While the band made a successful career on the offbeat, this song stands out with an honesty and truthfulness that adds to the bands back catalog. When they tour, sure you want to hear all the old hits, but this track should make the setlist going forward if not much else from We Can Do Anything does.  
Yesterday we returned to the early 70's, today the 80's both albums were never really needed in the grand scheme of things but it is good for the players and we wouldn't mind catching either group live.

Support the band, buy the album and peep some video below:

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