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Rage Against Florence & The Machine?

The New Now

When I first heard Florence & the Machine's "Kiss With A Fist" some time last summer, it left me slightly conflicted (No Rihanna-Chris Brownjokes, please). I liked the song and the attitude, but the subjectmatter troubled me a bit. I certainly don't condone violence againstwomen, men, children or even small animals and/or any type of spousalabuse. Then again, I'm all for someone defending themselves against anysort of brutality and I like songs and artists that stir somecontroversy.

Musically, simply put, the song rocks. Thematically it reminds me a bit of the Phil Spector-produced, Gerry Goffin-Carole King-penned "He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)," originally recorded by the Crystals and covered by Hole, Spiritualized and Grizzly Bear among others, and The Burning Bed, that old made-for-TV movie starring Farrah Fawcett.

Whilethat film was based on a true story, I am all for pretend-movieviolence for the purpose of entertainment, and I suppose "Kiss With AFist" should be viewed as such as well. The video, in which the band'snamesake looks a bit like a feistier Feist, is certainly entertaining. Check it out below.

Ihad pretty much forgotten about my first brush with Florence & theMachine until a few weeks ago, when I saw that the band won thecritics' choice honors at the Brits Awards in mid-February. While Ihate to generalize, British critics have good taste, probably betterthan critics here in the States, so based on my initial reaction toFlorence & the Machine and this nod by British critics, I thinkit's safe to say that this is a band worth watching.

Inresearching Florence & the Machine I stumbled upon a videointerview of Florence Welch conducted by Channel 4 News' StephanieWest. I was hoping that West would press Welch on a "Kiss With A Fist."Unfortunately, West lobbed her a weak question in the final minute ofthe interview, merely asking if "there was any particular reason shewrote that," and let Welch's claim that "it's not about domesticviolence" go unchallenged. Who knows? Maybe it's not. Whatever thecase, you can check out the interview here.

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Lest you think Florence & the Machine are one-hit wonders, the band--which once included Lightspeed Champion's Devonte Hynes--has issued two other singles in the U.K., including "Dog Days." Check out the video below.

Florence& the Machine are still working on their debut album, but havereleased some choice covers as B-sides, including their take on the Cold War Kids' "Hospital Beds" and "You Got Love," originally recorded by the Source, featuring Candi Staton.

Fornow, "Kiss With A Fist" and "Dog Days" and their accompanying videoclips have left us with several unanswered questions. First andforemost, are Florence & the Machine the real deal? Is a kiss witha fist better than none? Are the dog days really over? What do youthink?

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