We Can Do Anything proves to be a misnomer.


We Can Do Anything
Artist: Violent Femmes

Making their return after 16 years of infighting, the leaders of the alt/folk/punk movement of the 90’s embrace their trademark approach – jangly guitar, simple drum beats, and Gordon Gano’s semi-whiny vocals. In short, the Femmes have always been a sort of alt punk Ramones.

So, is there another “Blister in the Sun” here? Unfortunately, no. There isn’t even an “Old Mother Reagan”. At an EP length, Gano concentrates on the same themes: Dealing with drama (“Issues”), relationship problems (“What You Really Mean”), and cars (“Travelling Solves Everything”, “Big Car”).

As usual, there is an odd mixture of hesitant spirituality (“Holy Ghost”, easily the highlight of this disc), and puerile, sophomoric lyrics (“Foothills”, complete with a reference to masturbation). “I Could Be Anything” presents as cartoonish, almost as if they’d be listening to They Might Be Giants.

We Can Do Anything proves to be a misnomer. If they can do anything, the songs should be better, especially after that long of a hiatus. For those hoping for a return to form, disappointment is in the works. Only necessary for the completist fans.

Brian A. Smith