The Replacements - Stink (Cover Artwork)

The Replacements

Stink (1982)


This is the Minneapolis Police Department, the party is over.

Nothing could be more farther from the truth. Back in 1982, one of (and some might call them the) greatest rock 'n' roll bands of all time was just emerging, playing small crowds in a drunken stooper and disrespecting everything in their path. They'd just released the classic 'power trash' that was Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash one year earlier and were ready to take things farther (or make them more ridiculous, however you wanna look at it) than ever before.

Stink is one of those short, sweet and to-the-point records that never seems to get old (though it is an EP, granted). It sounds leagues ahead of its time and flows straight through from start to finish. It's one of those records that makes you wanna get shitfaced drunk, put on a guitar and maybe, just maybe, make some music.

"Kids Won't Follow," the album's opener, gives you a taste of what's to come. It's a melodic, pissed off anthem for a generation of kids who don't give a shit. "Fuck School" should be everyone's high school prom song with frontman Paul Westerberg screaming "Fuck school! Fuck school! Fuck my School!" during the blazing chorus over furious fretwork by none other than the late, great Bob Stinson.

"Stuck in the Middle" and "Goddamn Job" could easily fit anywhere on Sorry Ma but still manage to sound like the band entering "new grounds." Maybe it's the step up in production and Westerberg seeming to be more "chaotic" this time around, but one thing's for sure -- like always, the 'Mats have done it again!

"White in Lazy" comes in a suprise with the addition of harmonica until the end of the tune when they take things up a notch and turn it into a mosh pit-worthy piss fest. "Dope Smokin Moron" -- what else can I say? "Hey Merle, I was wonderin' if ya got any ludes on ya?"

"Go" is a beautiful, almost ballad-like tune, and sounds like a blueprint for what was to come on 1983's Hootenany. It's one of my personal favorites and, in my opinion, one of the most underrated 'Mats tunes of all time.

"Gimme Noise" is probably the most "in your face" track on the disc and is sure to get you up and out of your seat. It's a great way to end the eight-track 'mini LP' and will most definitely leave you wanting more (as with all 'Mats albums).

The Replacements are one of my all time favorite bands, and anyone else who likes a little Westerberg and crew in their lives will definitely love this disc: raucous, roarin' and ready to tear it up. This is the 'Mats, with some of their best material, but as anyone with a 'Mats disc in their collection will tell you...well, I don't know, grab a bottle of cheap wine and give it a spin and maybe it'll change your life. I know it did mine.