D. Boon's death in December 1985 was one of rock's most tragic occurrences. And, a decade later, you may find that it still affects the way you listen to this, the "final" Minutemen record. Boon was hitting his stride here; the songs were emphatic, smart, and marked by his increasing sociopolitical awareness. He did not suffer fools gladly, and this record (as do the best of the Minutemen's) retains a strong sense of moral indignation (listen to "The Price of Paradise" and "The Big Stick"). One fact that shouldn't be lost in eulogizing over Boon was the significant role Mike Watt was playing in the band. This hadn't happened overnight, but with each successive record, Watt's confidence as a bass player and songwriter was growing, and by the time of 3-Way Tie, his skills were in full flower -- so much so that one side of the record is called "Side D," the other, "Side Mike." Dense and driving, this is a bittersweet moment closing an excellent band's career.
AllMusic Review by John Dougan