Saturday, May 24, 2008

Never Aim To Please

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.

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Bash & Pop -

"Never Aim To Please"

"Loose Ends"

"One More Time"

"Fast & Hard"

"Friday Night (Is Killing Me)"

(these files are now listen-only)

click for enlarged view

click for enlarged view


Brushback said...

Hey, sorry, but the mp3 files on this post are now listen-only (non-downloadable) files. Maybe go buy the CD, though-- it's great, and it's usually pretty cheap.

Anonymous said...

I agree this album is great, and it never ages. It's as good today as the day it came out. And though I liked (and still do somewhat) 14 Songs, I think this is much better. And for the record, I can barely listen to most of Don't Tell A Soul, but strangely enough, I still like All Shook Down - for whatever reason it does not sound as dated to me as Soul does. But I'll take a shitty 'Mats album over almost anything else anytime.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brushback - did you see this?

Tommy has reformed B&P and recorded a new album. But of more interest to me, part of the campaign is reissuing Friday Night Is Killing Me on vinyl. Anyway, still love this record, thought you might be interested.

Brushback said...

Yeah, I did hear about that -- it popped up in my Facebook feed like twice a day last week -- but I didn't actually click on it to read it, ha ha. Pretty sure I'd love to have a copy of Friday Night on vinyl, tho...