Violent Femmes hold a special place for many as THE quintessential ‘rites of passage’ act, as a result of their debut self titled album from 1983. It’s full of tales of forlorn teenage angst, one of those truly special records with nary a dud track to be heard on it.
Fast forward to 2016 and the band of ex-buskers from Milwaukee that soundtracked many an adolescence return with their first new material in 15 years in the form of Memory, a precursor to pending new album We Can Do Anything, which is due to hit the shelves in early March.
So how does Memory stack up against the impressive spectre of their much lauded back catalogue? Well not too shabbily in fact, and it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that the track has been fleshed out from a long lost unfinished demo that singer/songwriter Gordon Gano recently unearthed.
Kicking off with the classic Femmes template of ballsy acoustic guitar, robust rhythm section and the distinctive nasally emoting of Gano, Memory finds the band somewhat wiser and a touch more jaded, but with their acerbic world view still firmly to the fore. The track rollicks along on the back of Gano’s middle aged frustrations: “Come back so I can tell you how I’m annoyed by the fact that I can’t remember your smile or your frown”, before the track breaks open with a group singalong chorus and a dash of electric guitar.
In barely three minutes it’s done and dusted, and while it may not quite reach the emotively spellbinding peaks of yore, if Memory is anything to go by then the upcoming new record and tour of these parts (also in March) will be something to keenly embrace and celebrate!