The Violent Femmes are a folk punk band that has been around for quite some time. To be exact, the band started up in the late 1970s with an initial line-up that consisted of Brian Ritchie as the bassist, Victor DeLorenzo as the drummer, and Gordan Gano as both the vocalist and the guitarist. Since then, the Violent Femmes have experienced both ups and downs, though their ups have been much higher than what most musical acts can ever expect to reach. After all, the band was one of the most successful rock bands of the 1980s, which corresponded with a great deal of influence on rock music as well. Currently, the Violent Femmes are still making music with a line-up that is both old and new. The old refers to Ritchie and Gano, both of whom are still involved. Meanwhile, the new refers to the multi-instrumentalist Blaise Garza and the drummer John Sparrow, though to be fair, they aren’t exactly that new seeing as how one became involved in 2004 and the other became involved in 2016.
10. We Can Do Anything
Primarily, We Can Do Anything is notable for being the Violent Femmes’ first studio album in more than a decade and a half’s time. Otherwise, well, suffice to say that it isn’t the worst record that has ever been released.
9. Freak Magnet
Speaking of which, Freak Magnet was another underwhelming release. To be exact, it was the studio album that came out before We Can Do Anything, meaning that it presumably contributed more than a bit to the band’s issues in that period. In any case, Freak Magnet itself had some decent material, but on the whole, it fell quite a bit short of the band’s material from the height of their success.
8. New Times
New Times was the band’s sixth studio album. As such, it was the first time that the Violent Femmes had put out a record without Victor DeLorenzo on the drums, thus making it the start of a new era in a sense. Content-wise, New Times was interesting because it contained some of the band’s most complex as well as most inventive songs, though considering its performance, it seems that this wasn’t enough to save it.
7. Hotel Last Resort
The Violent Femmes are far from the height of their success. However, Hotel Last Resort shows that they are still capable of putting together that is quite listenable. It isn’t capable of competing with the best of the band’s work, but it is still worthwhile for people who enjoy the band’s kind of music.
Rock!!!!! is a release from the 1990s. Unsurprisingly, it isn’t particularly well-known in the Violent Femmes’ repertoire. To an extent, this is because of its own content. However, it should be mentioned that Rock!!!!! did take a hit from being available in Australia and only in Australia until quite some time after its initial release. It would be an exaggeration to say that everyone else was missing out on something amazing. Even so, it is good that non-Australian fans can get their hands on this release as well now.
5. Why Do Birds Sing?
Why Do Birds Sing? was the last Violent Femmes studio album with Victor DeLorenzo. It performed well enough, not least because of a number of heartfelt songs that could connect with the listener very well. To name an example, there is “I’m Free,” which produces exactly the kind of feeling that one would expect based on the name. Meanwhile, “More Money Tonight” is a bit of gloating on Gano’s part but is nonetheless surprisingly satisfying to hear.
4. The Blind Leading the Naked
The Blind Leading the Naked was the Violent Femmes’ third studio album. It is distinguished by the fact that it was an attempt at reaching a more mainstream audience, which met with somewhat positive results. In any case, its attempt at reaching the mainstream was rather divisive. There were those who thought that it was more approachable without causing the band to lose their unique character. However, there were also some who loathed the change of direction.
Despite its name, 3 was actually the Violent Femmes’ fourth studio album rather than their third studio album. In some ways, it was a return to their earlier style, so much so that some have called it a lesser version of their self-titled debut studio album. However, considering that the self-titled debut studio album has a good claim to being the band’s single best release, that is nowhere near as insulting as it sounds on initial consideration.
2. Hallowed Ground
As the story goes, the Violent Femmes had the material for both their first studio album and their second studio album ready to go at the same time. They could have mixed that material anyway they wanted, but in the end, they decided to put the pop music on the first one before putting the more experimental songs on what would become Hallowed Ground. Unsurprisingly, the release met with a mixed reception, not least because it contained a number of Christian songs aimed at a less than enthused market. Still, it deserves recognition as one of the band’s best releases.
1. Violent Femmes
Naturally, Violent Femmes occupies the number one position on this list. After all, it is the band’s single most successful release, as shown by how it is believed to have sold more than 3 million copies even though it never showed up on the Billboard 200 after its initial release. Furthermore, Violent Femmes made everything else possible, meaning that it merits a place of honor. Something that is particularly true because even now, it contains some of the band’s most memorable music.