Last time we caught word that Violent Femmes were releasing an album it was 2001. Wikipedia had just been created (yeah I know right!), Facebook wasn’t even a thing and people were still using land lines. It’s now 15 years later and the iconic folk-rock American band have since reunited, toured internationally and have released their new album We Can Do Anything.
Icons of folk-rock, Violent Femmes have thrown together one of their best albums with We Can Do Anything. Rambunctious, fun and a little wacky, it’s everything you want from the Femmes.
Even though they were on a long hiatus, where for a period they didn’t even play together, Gordan Gano, Brian Ritchie and Brian Viglione hooked up again and it sounds like they never took a break. Originally reuniting in 2013 to play Coachella, the band took off on a wide-ranging tour that even carried them down here; Violent Femmes actually recorded their 2015 EP HAPPY NEW YEAR in Hobart between performing in Tasmania and Sydney.
It was the success of this EP that led the band to creating the proper full length LP about to grace your ears. After eight studio albums We Can Do Anything is definitely among the most provocative and playful in legendary band’s canon. It has that folk, punk, bluesy backyard rock n’ roll feel with slight jazz (and a little bit of blue grass) thrown in to the mix.
The first track Memory eases you into the LP with a humble mix of acoustic and electric guitar and story telling. Next up is I Can Do Anything and the easing stops here. This wacky number is where the blue grass reference comes into play. The song plays out like a cartoon with extremely wild and nonsensical lyrics. Issues is track number three; the song is a bit slower but still quirky as hell as the chorus forces you to sing along.
What You Really Mean is the ballad of We Can Do Anything. The song was actually written by Gano’s sister almost 30 years ago. It is nothing like the other tracks on the album and is quite a beautiful song. Foothills however throws you right back into classic Femmes upping the tempo and bringing those trademark rhymes. Travelling Solves Everything is another favorite. It is wacky and weird but also has so many chord changes. The music keeps you on your toes and the lyrics are comedic but extremely relatable.
Funnily enough I’m Not Done is a great track to end this affair with. It’s fun, upbeat, and epitomises everything that makes Violent Femmes great. If you’re a fan of the band this album is an all-you-can-eat buffet of their sound, bringing you everything you could ever want from the rambunctious and iconic band. Violent Femmes were never known for being “current” and in their vintage return they have definitely stuck true to their original aesthetic.