Violent Femmes - Why Do Birds Sing?

Thursday 1st August 1991
Violent Femmes - Why Do Birds Sing?
Violent Femmes - Why Do Birds Sing?

RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
LABEL: London 8282391

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

Gordon Gano is of course the enfant terrible of Christendom, and off-the-wall avantguardist in a world of safe music, the man whose Mercy Seat aggregation stunned greenbelt mainstage with black girls in sequined micro-minis doing (not very good) versions of black gospel standards. Now thankfully he's returned to his best forte, anarchic acoustic thrashes rich in irony and whose crisp percussiveness drills the sometimes serious, sometimes silly hooks. The production by Michael (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) Beinhom is wonderful and captures much of the shambolic resonance of the band's platinum 'Violent Femmes' back when punk was still thresh and the band's laconic lunacy seemed the Next Big Thing. Sadly all that clever wit is dissipated in lyrics which seldom reach conclusions, often appearing to be total-consciousness preambles of a slightly out-of-focus intellect. It's a vision thankfully far less bleak than earlier albums, but hasn't Gordon yet found what he's looking for?

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