The year was 1985, and Winnipeg, Alberta band The Replacements were about to embark on their song-by-song cover of Soundgarden’s “Big Blue Moon” EP. Luckily, along the way something involving dancing chimps happened, something involving black people, and the band decided instead to play a Beatles tribute while appearing on the cover wearing sandals and socks like the rebels they were. But seriously, their career not exactly thriving, they decided to off themselves to see if it would help. That’s how “I Will Dare” got stuck in my head for seven years, and “Answering Machine” became an endearing pre-emo emotion-o-thon. I mean, it’s no “The Police and the Private”, but we’ll take what we can right? Right? Needle to the Groove, Mantronix! You rock so hard. Way to bleep your dangerous s-word. Why does the PItchfork 500 involve so much “rap is all about black people dancing and having a groovy time while wearing loud suits” old-school funk crap? Who the fuck was in charge of that editing committee?
But seriously, does anyone listen to Bloc Party anymore? No? Then it’s a good thing the Reps switched up their “Like Eating Grass” cover to be about androgyny, and use swooshy hand swoosh things that I don’t remember the colloquial name of (so I’m forced to use the technical term “swooshy hand swoosh things”). Also they completely changed the lyrics and music. And just in time for pride, the gay anthem “We’re Comin’ Out’ uses its fucking powerful apostrophe to shift expertly between being a riff-rockin’ rocker and an unsettling quiet section, both about youth who are apparently not gay. Plus, “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out” accurately sums up every fear about going to the dentist – “let’s get this over with / I tee off in an hour” – whee, interesting lyrics! Bonus tracks are crap though.
But seriously, this is the last time they really cared about entertaining us, so it’s a good thing they do a good job, like Mir Hossein Mousavi, tearing down state walls, leaning to and fro, wanting that Iranian Jew money, singin’ about fuckin’. I don’t know what i’m talking about, I’ve been depressed for like two weeks here. It’s a really great album! There are four fun rockers (though you really have to be in the mood to hear a song called “Gary’s Got A Boner’ to enjoy “Gary’s Got A Boner” even if it IS a wonderfully sarcastic anti-Gary song) a few mid-tempo radio-friendly songs, two emotional chick songs (my personal favourites on this album), and one annoying ass unrealistic and melodramatic whining about being sixteen song. Plus a bunch of fun, albeit unremarkable, bonus cover songs, and two useless alternate versions of album songs. Aw, it’s the bee’s patellas.