Bash & Pop

  • Bash & Pop
  • Friday Night Is Killing Me (Sire/Reprise) 1993 

Following the Replacements, bassist (and junior member) Tommy Stinson switched to guitar, formed a quartet and cut a sharp but uncompelling tribute to one facet of the Mats’ multiple personality — the bluesy, boozy, shambling rock they learned from old Faces albums. Stinson’s constricted voice is the best thing here; while the songs bear evidence (especially the frantic chorus of “Fast & Hard”) of a decade spent in the company of Paul Westerberg, Stinson can only lift chord patterns and manage weak echoes of his former bandmate’s lacerating wit. Lacking the rock-sucks-let’s-do-something-better ambition that kept repeated choruses and time-wasting vamps to a minimum on Replacements vinyl, he wallows in abnormal ordinariness. That Stinson can do a credible imitation of Rod Stewart’s lurch and rasp might be enough for a journeyman career, but Friday Night is hardly the adult achievement his alma mater primed him for.

Bash & Pop didn’t last long enough to record again. In ’96, Stinson returned to work at the helm of a new band called Perfect. That didn’t last long, and the next time he surfaced, it was — of all things — as a member of Guns n’ Roses.

[Ira Robbins]