For someone to whom The Replacements were the primary gateway drug into the indie/punk world and whose first fanzine (Run It) was named after a Replacements song, the break up of The Replacements meant as little to me as anyone. I'd stopped paying close attention to the band years earlier; I sold my copy of "Tim" almost immediately, and only begrudgingly bought "Pleased To Meet Me" (a great fucking album, it turned out) because it was on cassette and I was looking for something to listen to on a train ride into Manhattan later that day. Other than bothering to stand in front of the TV for a few seconds whenever "I'll Be You" or "When It Began" made an infrequent appearance on MTV, I almost completely lost track of what The Replacements were up to for a couple of years.
When the post-'Mats solo albums started coming out, I didn't jump into buying mode right away-- still feeling a little burnt, I guess-- but what came out was thankfully way better than those final miserable Replacements records (though I sorta made friends with "Don't Tell A Soul" a couple of years ago, oddly enough). "14 Songs", the first two or three Chris Mars records, the two Perfect CDs and "Village Gorilla Head"-- all of them well worth owning. And then there's Tommy Stinson's Bash & Pop: one of the first, and most likely the best of any of the post-'Mats output.
Jim Dickinson said "Tommy Stinson is rock 'n roll", and "Friday Night Is Killing Me" is an awesome rock 'n roll record from start to finish. I have this thing where the songs that Keith Richards sings on the Stones records usually end up becoming my favorite ones, and there are songs on "Friday Night" that, sight unseen, you'd swear are Keith Richards playing, or Ronnie Wood; listen to "One More Time", and you'll see what I mean.
The songs on here are great hard power pop/rock, I love the way Tommy sings, the lyrics hit all the right spots, and the band sounds top notch. Why this record didn't find more success is totally beyond me, but whatever. Screw everyone else. Each of the five songs I'm posting here is a 10 out of 10, as far as I'm concerned. ("Fast & Hard" is maybe only an 8 out of 10, but the line "I played it as fast as I could/You just heard it slow" earns it the two extra points.) Years later, this is still one of those CDs that I go back and listen to every so often and it still sounds just as good as the first time I heard it.
Bash & Pop -
"Never Aim To Please"
"One More Time"
"Fast & Hard"
"Friday Night (Is Killing Me)"
(these files are now listen-only)