Milwaukee Artist of the Week 8/9/13 – The Violet Hour

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Rather than Reese’s getting peanut butter in your chocolate and vice versa, this week’s Milwaukee Artist of the Week is The Violet Hour, and they got their blues in your punk rock. Yes. Blues-punk. Admittedly on first glance, reading the words “blues punk” together didn’t convince me that the two genres would mesh together well. However, I put on The Violet Hour’s new release “Not Haunted”, and that eliminated all skepticism. Actually, “Not Haunted” is more than a blues/punk hybrid. The album has a decent range to it, with a variety of different elements combining to form The Violet Hour’s sound. There are synths, but only when there need to be. There’s a folksy Americana tune, but it’s not out of place on the record. It’s slow, then it’s fast, but it’s never disjointed. The Violet Hour do a solid job of mixing, borrowing, and blending from different genres and influences to create the sound of “Not Haunted”.

With all of that combining, though, their blues influence is never lost. Frontwoman Karen Muehlbauer has a very soulful voice, laced over a flowing rhythm section that can get faster if need be. The end result are songs like “Skeletons”, where the band takes it from zero to 60 in no time flat, then brings it back to its original groove, and speeds up again at the end, just to finish out the album properly. Punk fans can also found songs to pick out of this record, as well. Opener “Elephant Skin”, without the soulful bellows, could easily be a song heard at the Vans Warped Tour (up until about the mid 2000s, when screamo and the internet started to take it over). There’s even a song that clocks in under two minutes, and if that’s not very punk rock, I don’t know what is. Check out the genre bending “Not Haunted” below. You can also pick up a physical copy for free with your cover at The Violet Hour’s record release show, tonight at Club Garibaldi’s in Bay View. (Side note: that seems to be the place to release a record, doesn’t it?)

For more of The Violet Hour, check out their Facebook, Twitter and website.

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