In 1983 both Bono and Violent Femmes frontman Gordon Gano publicly pondered the dilemma of life as a horny Christian from the musical pulpit. Now, nearly a quarter-century later, Bono wrestles with arena shows, Grammy Awards, the World Bank, and life as a lustful Christ figure (though not necessarily in that order), even as Gano continues to discharge his despair in much more humble environs. While U2's broad, overarching strokes always seemed destined for the large canvas, Gano's cramped and tenacious lyrics, delivered in an inimitable, quirky acoustic style, get their satisfaction by mining the crevices of adolescent angst and bringing it back to the humble home of universally shared experience. With a raft of F-bombs that kept them off the radio (long before Janet Jackson's nipple ring altered the airwaves) and shout-along anthems like "Add It Up," "Kiss Off," "Please Do Not Go" and "Blister in the Sun," the trio's eponymous debut could stand as an official ode to teenage discontent. Still more cult than religion, more movement than crusade, the Violent Femmes continue to endure.
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