Release Date: Jul 26, 2019
Record label: PIAS
Along with longtime bassist Brian Ritchie and Horns of Dilemma members John Sparrow and Blaise Garza, Violent Femmes have made…well, they've made another fun Violent Femmes record. Hotel, then, functions best both as a tour through their catalogue and as an introduction for newcomers. It features the silly, percussive acoustic numbers they're best known for ("Another Chorus" and "This Free Ride"); the requisite faith-based song ("Adam Was A Man"); the let's-see-what-happens experiment (the band's take on Pyx Lax's "I'm Not Gonna Cry"); and Gano's snide slackerisms throughout ("A chortle is still not a real laugh" and "Have mercy on me / I've got girl trouble up the ass").
Alternative rock institution the Violent Femmes soldiered through the years as one of the more consistent bands of their genre. Their sound shifted from record to record, but the sharp and cynical folk-punk that put them on the map in the early '80s remained at the core of even their most slickly produced work. Tenth studio album Hotel Last Resort continues with aspects of their signature sound but also expands on it subtly.
The Lowdown: Almost 40 years on from heralding the dawn of modern folk-punk with their self-titled debut, Violent Femmes remain something of a sonic law unto themselves. In fact, long resistant to second-guessing, the Milwaukee trio's whole M.O. could be distilled to wielding idiosyncrasy in tandem with pure accessibility. Often, the further out Gordon Gano and co.