Saturday, October 18, 2014

Still Annoying After All These Years

Inspiring Comeback 1:
Reporter speaking to George Herbert Mallory: Why do you want to Climb Mount Everest?
Mallory: Because it’s there.

Inspiring Comeback 2:
Mrs. Jaybee: I thought you hated those guys. Why did you buy their CD?
Jaybee: It was record store day, and it was there.

And frankly, I think I come off smarter. All I had to do was take the train.

Violent Femmes

In the grand tradition of lead singers who sound like little brats (Perry Farrell, etc.), Gordon Gano is still annoying after all these years.

He led a band of smart alecks extraordinaire. You may recognize their most famous song - "Blister in the Sun" - which was used in a commercial I’ve thankfully forgotten. And they do get off some funny lines - I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record! - being the best one. 

But the musical attack is limited - just acoustic guitar, bass and drums. I’ve heard great albums done with less, but they usually brought something great to the table, whether it was melody, singing, band enthusiasm or words. Here, it’s mainly snark. And not quite enough to put it all  across.

So the main draw is the lyrics. But they’re asked to do too much. There is one semi-sincere moment, which is my favorite, but it doesn’t last. That one, plus the genuinely amusing ones, don’t add up to a great album. 

For people with a very very specific sense of humor.  B

When to play it: When you have company you hate.

When NOT to play it: When you’re really upset. 

Second Thoughts:

And yet, and yet. I listened to it again, and noticed that they do bang up against their limits pretty forcefully. And there is some rage behind the snarkiness. And some odd snippets of melody here and there. And that the words actually work pretty well with the music.

Something tells me I’ll be coming back to it next year.

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