Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rock ‘n’ Roll Roundup

The Replacements – Let It Be (Twin Tone 1984, Rhino 2008)

The Replacements were a scruffy band of malcontents out of Minneapolis that had a cult following in the college rock scene in the late eighties and early nineties. Made up of Paul Westerberg on guitar and vocals, Bob Stinson on guitar, Tommy Stinson bass, and Chris Mars on drums, the band bridged the local hardcore punk scene and more melodic mainstream rock. It is an interesting record that mixed juvenile snotty punk like “Gary’s Got a Boner” and "Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out" with thoughtful slower paced examinations of teen angst like “Sixteen Blue” and “Androgynous.” Some oddball tracks like the Kiss cover “Black Diamond” and the anthemic poppier openers “I Will Dare” and “Favorite Thing” round out the original album. Bonus tracks included on this reissue include some outtakes and alternate mixes but nothing to make owners of the original album run out for a new copy unless they are diehard fans.

See also:

The allmusic blog on the Replacements reissues on Rhino.
Carrie Brownstein on her favorite Replacements lyrics.

The Kills – Midnight Boom (Domino, 2008)

This band plays nasty, attitude filled rock and roll. Comprised of Alison "VV" Mosshart on vocals and Jamie "Hotel" Hince on guitar and vocals, the band originally started by the two trading tapes across the Atlantic and eventually morphed into a full fledged collaboration. Garage rock, dirty electric blues and punk (a song on one of their previous albums was entitled “Fuck the People”) are elements of the band's sound, which has grown more unique as they have evolved. The Opener “URA Fever” comes lurching out of the gate sounding like that chant of a group of soccer hooligans, and then the band moves into the gloriously sleazy “Cheap and Cheerful” which adds a layer of glam glitter to their music. The ode to changing times “What New York Used to Be” is another highlight, adding pumping bass to an ominous mix. Short and sweet at an LP length 40 minutes, it’s another fine album from an underrated band.

See also:
The Kills at Foxy Tunes Planet.

The Rolling Stones – Shine a Light Soundtrack (Interscope, 2008)

The soundtrack to Martin Scorsese’s concert film of the group’s 2006 tour is surprisingly spry and active, filled with some genuinely memorable moments. While it can’t quite match the band’s late sixties heyday, the performances found here mostly of their most famous material are quite respectable. Keith Richards in particular sounds great spitting out riffs with the energy of a teenage punk rocker and playing some delicate slide guitar on the slide and country numbers. Jagger’s vocals are deep and powerful and Charlie Watts’ drumming is as subtle and jazzy as ever. Guest appearances by Buddy Guy on the Muddy Waters chestnut “Champagne and Reefer” and Jack White on “Lovin’ Cup” are interesting, but the real highlights come from the core bands longevity and the fact that their music is still relevant after all these years. “Faraway Eyes” combines country music and gospel with deep respect and subtlety while the rockers like “All Down the Line” and “Start Me Up” are potent. It’s a solid record, and certainly worth checking out.

See also:
Interesting article from the Times Online.

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