Immature, dorky+whiny+sweet acoustic guitar punk. It's the "Violent Femmes" sound. Violent Femmes have been around for more than 35 years; this is their first in 15. And at least in my opinion, this is fresher, younger-sounding than all but their earliest releases. Surely it doesn't compare to the greatness of the first two albums, and there's something that inherently doesn't age well about the Violent Femmes' sound, which is so deeply tied to youth. It's a slightly depressing echo of teenaged anthems, but there's still good stuff here. And, for old times' sake-- (better than most oldies acts, anyway). FCC on 3.
1. (3:03) **** Heavy guitar strumming, rebellious. "Don't remember..." Plaintive, whining, some good hooks.
2. (3:42) **** Jaunty folksy polka-y childrens-music-type song. "I can be anything." Fun little story about a dragon named Bongo. Whooping and hollering throughout. Plenty of funny voices.
3. (3:05) *** [FCC: 'FUCK' at 2:30 in] Slinky honking sax in loping rhythm. Whining.
4. (2:35) *** Classic VF punk-acoustic guitar sound. Anxious, rapid, "In the Holy Ghost..." Minor key chanting, whining.
5. (3:51) ** Softer-edged ballad. Builds and builds...
6. (2:43) **** Snarly, whiny hooky, Buddy Hollyish to an extent. This could slide into their early work and feel quite right.
7. (2:58) **** "Drive drive drive". Punkier, darker (primus-y), but also hoedowny and dorky.
8. (2:55) **** Another song that can only be described as "Violent Femmes" song. Fast, strummy, punky, antic, whiny.
9. (3:16) *** Walking-paced, angry-voiced (and also whiny).
10. (2:12) *** Twangy, fast, country brisk and lively, into a soft coda.