by Jamie Robash
photo by Zack Whitford
Arguably one of the most quintessential rock bands of the 1980s, Violent Femmes’ feisty freak-folk rock — laid down by singer/guitarist Gordon Gano, bassist Brian Ritchie, and percussionist Victor DeLorenzo — was the perfect soundtrack to an angst-fueled teenhood during the Regan administration. Their iconic eponymous ’83 debut contained classics “Blister in the Sun” “Kiss Off” and “Gone Daddy Gone”, songs that would never rise to commercial success but over time would come to have a much larger effect as something of a family heirloom to be passed on to future generations. Yet future releases failed to spark the same fire with fans. Over the next two decades, the band would see DeLorenzo come and go (finally for good in 2013 after some 30th anniversary shows) while Ritchie and Gano battled in court over royalties and rights. But the songs remain as tight as ever, and that’s what counts when you add it up.