Violent Femmes formed in 1981 as an acoustic punk band playing on the streets of Milwaukee. Their main influences at that time were Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps, and The Velvet Underground. Their goal was to rock harder than any other acoustic act on the planet. MTV's "Unplugged" show was inspired by the Femmes, although they never actually appeared on it. Their raw sound and honest lyrical perspective has been cited as an influence by artists as diverse as Pink, Keith Urban, The Smiths, Nirvana, Lou Reed, John Cusack, Mark Morris, and Wim Wenders.
The second record from the Violent Femmes was a departure from their highly acclaimed debut album. Hallowed Ground features more of their folk/punk hybrid that made them so unique from the start but with even more maniacal energy than they had previously displayed. Lead singer and songwriter Gordon Gano explores his love/hate relationship with religion with the same glee he did exploring the teenage/young adult drama of their debut. An under valued classic brought to you by 4 Men With Beards on 180 gram vinyl.
"Contrary to initial public response, Hallowed Ground is not a parody. Gano, the son of a Baptist minister, may wear his faith like a badge of honor, but it's a badge, not a shield, and what keeps the songs so volatile is the fact that they're filtered through the eyes, ears, heart, and loins of a teenager. Like the first record, all of the songs on Hallowed Ground were written during Gano's high-school years -- he was barely in his twenties when it was released -- resulting in a perfect rendering of the sweetness and brutality of the postpubescent teen... The Femmes are nothing if not true to themselves, and Hallowed Ground is a testament to their tenacity, courage, and sheer obliviousness to industry ogling. Each track is as naked as it is bursting with ideas, and as the landscape changes, the band changes with it, leaving the listener at a crossroads; with each incantation, growling invective, and honey-whispered promise, they're forced to either jump off the gospel train or ride it along with them into the mouth of Hell." - James Christopher Monger, allmusic.com, Rated 4.5/5 Stars
1. Country Death Song
2. I Hear The Rain
3. Never Tell
4. Jesus Walking On Water
5. I Know It's True But I'm Sorry To Say
1. Hallowed Ground
2. Sweet Misery Blues
3. Black Girls
4. It's Gonna Rain