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The Violent Femmes fourth album, named 3, is a subdued affair from a band known for its manic energy. Their previous album, the Jerry Harrison-produced The Blind Leading the Naked, brought them closer to the mainstream with some tough funk and a horn section, while 3 attempts to make the crossing with the demure acoustic attack of “Nightmares.” “Just Like My Father” works in a quick dose of churning angst before “Dating Days” turns on the adolescent charm with Brian Ritchie’s basslines twirling around in amazement. “Fat,” which appeared in the film Super Size Me again shows the band skill at succinctness. “Nothing Worth Living For” and “See My Ships” turn to the quiet and dark for the desperation singer Gordon Gano is best known for. “World We’re Living In” stretches over five minutes for its existential crisis. The sneak-attack of the band’s debut is not reproducible, but these songs go a long way towards making fresh devils out of old ghosts.


Formed: 1982 in Milwaukee, WI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The textbook American cult band of the 1980s, the Violent Femmes captured the essence of teen angst with remarkable precision; raw and jittery, the trio's music found little commercial success but nonetheless emerged as the soundtrack for the lives of troubled adolescents the world over. The group formed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the early '80s, and comprised singer/guitarist Gordon Gano, bassist Brian Ritchie, and percussionist Victor DeLorenzo. Ritchie originated the band's oxymoronic name, adopting...
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3, Violent Femmes
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