The Violent Femmes controversial and brilliant second release Hallowed Ground is a s close to a Gospel record as you’ll find in indie rock…

The Violent Femmes Hallowed Ground is for me a gospel record disguised as indie rock teen angst. It upset and tantalized critics and fans alike with it’s mix of secular topics interspersed with religous imagery. Songs like “It’s Gonna Rain” and “Black Girls” could be viewed as uptempo rockers or as preachin’ gospel tunes. Gordan Gano was the son of a Baptist preacher and while he no doubt rebelled against his father, he was also apparently born again and the resulting record was Hallowed Ground.

These songs as brilliant as they are were written during his high school years but unlike the first Femmes release the music grew and changed over time. The addition of the squelling horn of John Zorn, the banjo of Tony Trishka and the piano of Mark Van Hecke created a sound more similar to folk/country/free jazz than the staight ahead punk of their debut. they have also clearly grown as musicians; particularly Brian Ritchie whose bass playing and various percussion fills pr0ve him to be the equal to Gordan Gano in the group ( this was also proved by his two SST solo releases).

Every song on this record is a keeper but I’ve chosen four to continue the Gospel music theme. To download right click and change the file name to whatever you want and add .mp3 (any problems please leave a comment)

Jesus Walking On The Water

Hallowed Ground

Black Girls

It’s Gonna Rain

As a bonus here are two songs from the Femmes’ fourth record ironically called 3 (we always thought that they called it 3 because their actual third record was so bad)

Outside The Palace

See My Ships

3 Responses to “The Violent Femmes controversial and brilliant second release Hallowed Ground is a s close to a Gospel record as you’ll find in indie rock…”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I had the first four Violent Femmes albums on vinyl – bought them each as they came out. When I went back to replace them on CD, years later, Hallowed Ground was the one I bought first. I really didn’t like the album when it first came out – I was disappointed with (and kinda shocked by) the gospel overtones. Now, though, I think it’s clearly their best work.

    Joseph K

  2. Greg says:

    Brilliant stuff!I have hitor-miss knowledge of the femmes. Always liked what I heard, but never really followed them. So these songs are a revelation. Excellent post!

  3. R. Piggy says:

    It’s Gonna Rain is psycho. You made no mention of how crazy this album is, and the cover is good too. Well I’m gonna take my daughter out and shoot her since I molested her. I have no daughter nor would I molest her, but that or something close is the gist of It’s Gonna Rain.