The Violents: Rebecca’s Morning Voice (Mud/Parasol)

"Sledding" seems to be about an unhappy turn of events, but it thumps so cool that I want to play it over and over again.

Being in a band is easy. Making music is hard. I was thinking about that when I heard the new CD from the Violents, Rebecca’s Morning Voice. The Champaign-Urbana band formed, according to their official bio, when they met at a show in Reno featuring Sleater-Kinney, Team Dresch, Bikini Kill, and Dolly Parton, big names offering an appropriate lead-in to the Violents. Being in a band is easy, but from the first song straight through to the end, you’ll find the Violents making music, and vital music at that. Termed “sloppy-girl-dance-punkrock,” by the band, I found the disc a reminder of what good simple production can do for great songs. Top it off with great vocal trade-offs from Aimee Rickman and Anni Poppen (and drumming from Sally Mundy) and you have a great CD.

The disk opens with “Sledding,” one of my favorite songs on any CD this year. It seems to be about an unhappy turn of events, but it thumps so cool that I want to play it over and over again. Doing that, though, would deny the joy of “Three Fifty Nine,” the new theme song for misspent nights and “wasting time again.” And the Violents capture it in just 2:13. “Whore” beautifully encapsulates the angst of decisions gone awry and having to come clean. The disc even has a kickass instrumental call “AD/HD vs. the Violents.”

Rebecca’s Morning Voice is tight, not sloppy. The Violents write great songs and play them with all the energy and skill they deserve. I don’t honestly know where cool songs like this come from, but their magic is undeniable. The Violents promise a visit to our city in the not-too-distant future; buy this disc and memorize it so you can jump along with them. Rebecca’s Morning Voice, according to the Violents, only scratches the surface.

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