The Replacements

Stink

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Almost as if they were aware that Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash was masquerading as a hardcore album, the Replacements designed their second record as a mean, lean, nasty, brutish affair, the opposite of the mirthfully messy Sorry Ma. Stink wasn't even a full-fledged album -- at eight tracks, it was labeled a mini-LP, maybe just a bit longer than an EP, but it was just scraping by at 14 minutes regardless of what label it wore. So, it was tighter than Sorry Ma but that wasn't the only way Stink seemed more like a hardcore record: the band approximated a hardcore rave-up at the end of the white blooze parody "White and Lazy," and Paul Westerberg's songs bristled with anger against all manner of middle-class irritants, as he spit vitriol at his "God Damn Job" and told school to go f*ck itself. Such a sudden burst of anger could almost seem parodic, especially with such snide jokes as the Frère Jacques chorus of "Gimme Noise," if the Replacements didn't sound so lethal: they're hard and merciless, never stopping for air. This is where the brevity of Stink is in its favor -- not that it would be too much to take if it were longer, but at such a brief length this dose of thunder is positively addictive. And only when it starts to roll away does it sink in that Westerberg wrote his first genuine anthem with the great "Kids Don't Follow."

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