The Replacements – Stink

Am I the only one here, audience that consists exclusively of my girlfriend, who is constantly imagining horrible things happening to me? Recently I went for walk to get subway tokens, and here were a few of the things that vividly came to mind in response to normal occurrences, and bear in mind this happens every day: 1. Someone walked past smoking (they go nuts and stab me in the eye with the burning end), 2. A crazy person walks by on Bloor yammering to herself (she goes crazy, pulls out a knife, and stabs me in the eye), 3. I jog across a street because I am jaywalking (I slip and fall forward, smashing my teeth into the curb and breaking them horribly). Another common one is whenever I’m in the sauna with one other guy I imagine him attacking me with the burning rocks. Or when I’m alone in there I imagine the door not opening and basically boiling to death. Usually these happy daydreams are enough to make me shudder at least a couple times a day.

Recalling that made me not want to talk about this album very much, but life’s a rich tapestry, so here we go: on this EP (originally eight songs, now twelve) The Replacements manage to sound about two years younger than on their debut album. Nearly all the songs are very short (less than 2 minutes) and about topics that follow from their titles, and here are some of those titles: “Fuck School”, “God Damn Job”, “Dope Smokin Moron”, “Gimme Noise.” All very very juvenile stuff, and not as interesting as the album, but it IS faster paced and just as hooky, so it isn’t like it sucks or anything. You’ll remember every song on here forever, except maybe ‘Gimme Noise” and the shitty outtake “Staples in her Stomach.” Here are some things that annoy me:

1. Opener (and likely reason for the whole album) “Kids Don’t Follow” starts with a terrible 30-second long unironic SLC-Punk-esque “fuzz shutting down our party, man” sketch that’s laughable from the first time you hear it, and then you have to listen to it every time you want to listen to the song/album, which more or less ruins everything good in the world.

2. That song itself, the aforementioned “Kids Don’t Follow” just sounds like Offspring-ish pop-punk now. I like it, but I’m undecided on that angular nee-nee-nee riff. Or maybe I do like it. Fuck should I know.

3. The two covers included with the remastering aren’t very good. “Hey Good Lookin'” is cute, but they included the lame fast version instead of the hilarious slow version that B-sided a song a couple albums later (that doesn’t get re-released at all, the fuckers), while “Rock Around the Clock” is just nothing, unless you really really like the bassline to “Woo Hoo” accompanying some 50s words.

4. The album has a space between album and extras, which is fine, but like all the reissues, it’s this stupid door slamming/footsteps noise that just makes listening to the last song on the album proper less appealing. Thanks for doing that on ALL THEIR ALBUMS, record company.

But I only criticize because it’s enjoyable. This album is lots of fun, and, aside from “Kids Don’t Follow” does not sound it came from the early 80s at all; be sure to look out for endlessly-amusing (to me) “blues”/punk hybrid “White and Lazy,” “Fuck School” and “Stuck in the Middle” getting stuck in your head forever, and “You’re Getting Married,” which is this album’s completely out of character acoustic song (like “If Only You Were Lonely”), only this time instead of being a sappy love song it’s a plea to a friend to NOT getting married. Much better topic! And it’s complete with screaming in the second half of the song, where he repeats all the verses for some reason, but we still love him.  Well, this review was boring! I’m really, really sorry.



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