Artist: Bash and Pop
Album: Friday Night Is Killing Me
Label: Omnivore Records
Release Date: 09.08.2017
Recorded with producer Don Smith (Cracker, Keith Richards, John Hiatt) and with help from Heartbreakers Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell, and Americana icon Greg Leisz, Bash and Pop’s debut album, Friday Night Is Killing Me, arrived in January of 1993. The release found Stinson revitalized with an energy that had been missing from the Replacement’s last albums.
Stinson clearly learned a lot about power pop by working with Paul Westerberg. “Never Aim To Please” features driving, chunky guitar offset with melodic tones that hook the listener from the get go. “Hang Ups” unashamedly tips its hat to Keith Richards with big riffage and Exile On Mainstreet era slide guitar work. “Loose Ends” is infectious for its call and response chorus. Steve Foley is a cracking drummer and plays an up tempo beat on “One More Time” that would make Marky Ramone proud while Steve Brantseg pays homage to original “Mat’s” guitarist Bob Stinson with dissonant lead lines. The ghost of Ronnie Lane resounds on the irresistible “Tickled To Tears” while “Nothing” delves into melancholy reminiscent of “Here Comes A Regular” from Tim. “Fast and Hard” explodes with hard hitting energy that recalls the Mat’s earliest work. The name says it all. The title track “Friday Night Is Killing Me” is at once Westerbergesque but also shows Stinson finding his own voice. “He Means It” has all the swagger of the Faces and “Tiny Pieces” again recalls Ronnie Lane. The record closes with the autobiographical and contemplative “First Steps.”
Friday Night Is Killing Me features an additional CD of outtakes, which while not essential listening is a nice bonus. The reissue on Omnivore Recordings is a reminder of a fantastic band that continues to kick ass to this day. Get it!