Violent Femmes, “Love Love Love Love Love” (2015): One Track Mind

Share this:

They may be violent, but they’re not exactly busy. It’s been more than 30 years, of course, since Violent Femmes made a splashy platinum introduction with their debut album and the ageless “Blister in the Sun.” As with most alterno-gods of the era, they fell into decline by the 1990s — ultimately disbanding in 2009, but not before being dropped by Interscope following 1998’s Freak Magnent.

Still, even an unexpected Violent Femmes reunion a few years later didn’t seem to produce anything in the way of new music. There was that entirely offbeat cover of “Crazy” Gnarls Barkley. An appearance at Coachella. Some compilation work. But nothing new. At least, until now.

The just-released “Love Love Love Love Love” finds original members Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchie joined by yet another drummer to round out the stalwart Violent Femmes trio format. Brian Viglione follows co-founder Victor DeLorenzo (whose quick departure after the 2013 reunion marked his third stint) and Guy Hoffman (on board from 1993-2002). Something apparently clicked with Viglione, as a plan to perform at the Sydney Opera House turned into a side trip to the studio, where enough music for a new EP was quickly constructed.

You hear that fizzy sense of discovery all over “Love Love Love Love Love.” Composed by Jake Brebes, the song starts with just Gordon Gano’s quivery voice and a lone guitar — the template set down so well going back to Violent Femmes. But then they swing wildly toward a foot-stamping mariachi, and “Love Love Love Love Love” begins to rattle along with a loopy desperation — one made complete by this angular, wild-eyed sax solo to close things out.

It’s brilliantly weird, a perfect return that recalls Violent Femme’s best moments, then builds upon them. More music is reportedly in the works, to go with another round of summer dates in the U.S. Violent Femmes will be sharing the bill with the Barenaked Ladies. All of sudden, they’re busy indeed.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
Share this:
Close