- The Violent Femmes: Brian Ritchie (vocals, guitar, shakuhachi, keyboards, bass, percussion); Gordon Gano (vocals, guitar); Guy Hoffman (vocals, drums, percussion).
- Additional personnel: Pierre Henry.
- Producers: Violent Femmes, Warren Bruleigh, Pierre Henry, Tom Grimley.
- Engineers include: Martin Brass, Bil Emmons, Warren Bruleigh.
- Violent Femmes: Brian Ritchie (bass instrument); Guy Hoffman (percussion); Gordon Gano.
- Personnel: Brian Ritchie (vocals, guitar, shakuhachi, keyboards, percussion); Gordon Gano (vocals, guitar); Guy Hoffman (vocals, drums).
- Audio Mixers: Warren A. Bruleigh; David Vartanian; Martin Brass.
- Audio Remasterer: Keith Blake.
- Liner Note Author: Gordon Gano.
- Recording information: Big House; Nine Lives; Odin; Re, DV's Pervision Room; Son; SoundTrack.
- Despite approaching middle age, the Violent Femmes--and in particular, frontman Gordon Gano--remain rock's premier poets of pissed-off, resentful adolescence, which is both their strength--consistency--and their weakness--the pose now seems more like, well, a pose rather than a heartfelt expression. Fortunately, Gano is by now such a pro songwriter that he can fake pretentious teen angst quite convincingly, and his uniquely choked vocal style--he sounds alternately like Buddy Holly, Tom Verlaine, Lou Reed, and David Byrne--hasn't aged a bit. The band's sound remains, as before, a mix of acoustic punk and rockabilly, and it's heard to particularly good advantage here on the very funny title song, "Hollywood Is High," and the anthemic "Mosh Pit." In a nice historic touch, the Femmes also pay homage to their Minnesota ancestors the Trashmen on the "Surfin' Bird"-derived "New Generation" (co-credited, if you can believe it, to avant-garde jazzman Albert Ayler), an obscure oldie whose comic dementia is obviously of a piece with the Femmes' general esthetic.
Q (3/00, p.111) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...retains all the energy and lyrical brilliance of their earlier work, only with a jagged more guitar-led sound. The songs here are witty...and even creepy....A band on form in a state of rich, droll unpleasant maturity."
Alternative Press (5/00, p.112) - 3 out of 5 - "...Remarkably calm, rife with the same breezy, notably non-violent wise-ass humor. Gordon Gano fulfills his duties as jaded, malaise-ridden singer man...while his acoustic strums mesh easily with the skilled bob and bounce of the rhythm section..."
CMJ (2/7/00, p.23) - "...[their] most consistent set of new material since 1989's 3....a big blister of folkcore brilliance that even the sun couldn't eclipse."
Mojo (Publisher) (3/00, p.110) - "...Aside from a few cool countrified numbers this kicks along with the scratchy, punkish intent of old, Gordon Gano's vocal a blend of Jonathan Richman and a stifled sheep....a little complexity seems to be gurgling back."