I love seeing the bands I grew up listening to continuing to not only survive, but thrive and create. I last saw Violent Femmes at the Inland Invasion festival in 2003. They were there with MANY bands I loved because the festival took on a flashback theme that year (I try to forget that they called it “flashback” and instead focus on the bands being my favorites), Violent Femmes being among bands like The Cure, Bow Wow Wow, Psychedelic Furs, Dramarama, Berlin, General Public…and of course Duran Duran to name but a few. It was exciting to finally see Violent Femmes live. Not long after, I’d heard that they’d broken up. Flash forward to Coachella 2013, when they announced that they’d reunited and picked up a new drummer – Brian Vigilone from Dresden Dolls. They rushed off to tour, sequestered themselves in a studio just prior to the new year, and now they are due to release their first effort since Freak Magnet (2000).
The new 4-song, champagne-clear vinyl EP is titled Happy New Year (recorded on New Year’s Eve) and will drop on Record Store Day, April 18. (Four songs recorded in just two days? Impressive!!)
The beauty of this record is that it gives fans a chance to continue loving new music from the Violent Femmes, additionally providing an opportunity to be discovered by brand new fans. Nostalgia doesn’t have remain nostalgic. Best news of all? They are planning to record more new material in the spring and this summer they will join Barenaked Ladies for their “Last Summer on Earth” tour.
Upon my first listen, there is no mistaking that this is Violent Femmes. Even 15-years later, they own the sound that made them famous in the 80’s. Say what you might, I value a band that knows the space they occupy instead of trying to mold themselves into whatever happens to be the thing at the time. While the lyrics might not seem all that complicated or mature, it is the Violent Femmes as we know them…raw and carefree, kind of like a Friday night back in college for me. Judging from fan reaction on Soundcloud, I daresay that they’re hitting the right chords. I look forward to what the future has in store for the Violent Femmes.
Take a listen and see what you think!