The Violent Femmes made a name for themselves by sounding uncomfortably catchy despite acoustic instruments and Gordon Gano’s singing voice, which owed more to effort than inborn musicality. Viva Wisconsin contains recordings from a couple of live sets from the band’s original Midwestern stomping grounds. All of the band’s singalongs — “Prove My Love,” “Blister In The Sun,” “Gone Daddy Gone,” “Kiss Off” — are here, with the expected audience reaction. Of special note is “Add It Up,” lengthened to six minutes. It’s interesting to note how unchanged the band is, sounding as stripped-down and vital as they did nearly fifteen years ago. Not everyone can do that. A solid outing for the Femmes, worthy of appreciation even if there’s not exactly anything new here.
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