Album of the Day
The average band would've followed up a successful first album with something similar, but Violent Femmes are hardly average, and HALLOWED GROUND is distinct from the trio's classic debut but just as engrossing. Cut at New York's Secret Sound Studio with producer Mark Van Hecke, the 1984 Slash set features cathartic folk-punk tinged with dark Americana, and opener "Country Death Song" sets the tone for the Femmes' approach here. To judge from such harrowing originals as "Never Tell," singer-songwriter Gordon Gano still carries scars from his religious upbringing (his father was a Baptist minister), and the brisk rhythms of bassist Brian Ritchie and drummer Victor DeLorenzo add to the songs' impact. HALLOWED GROUND stands as one of the 1980s' starkest and most powerful alternative rock albums.