159. VIOLENT FEMMES (self-titled)
This 1983 debut record by the Violent Femmes presents a dilemma just like several other previously covered debuts in that so many of the songs turned into hits that it's difficult to pick just a few to serve as an introduction to the band and the album. And, this is made all the more extraordinary when you realize that lead singer and songwriter Gordon Gano wrote most of these songs as an 18-year old high school student. Everything about this record is quirky - from Gano's nasally vocals to the stand-up (literally) drumming to xylophone solos (not one, but two), Violent Femmes came at the right time to defuse (or egg on) the teenage angst of the early 1980's. Since the singles/hits are probably familiar to many of you, I'd rather highlight some of the lesser known gems that rarely find their way onto algorithmically generated playlists. So, start out with the one tender track on the record, 'Good Feeling,' and then move on to 'To the Kill,' 'Promise' and, lastly, 'Confessions.'