Ok kids, listen up, it’s time for a Crossfire history lesson – and a damn fine one at that. (Hell, I should know, this album came out the same year that I did). The Replacements were arguably one of the most gloriously ragged, untamed bands to hail from the fertile post-punk scene of Minneapolis, Minnesota; and now that those fine folks at Rhino Records have re-released the band’s first four albums, it’s about time that singer/guitarist Paul Westerberg and his merry men were given a re-appraisal.
‘Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash’ is the band’s 1981 debut, and it still sounds remarkably fresh by today’s standards. A haphazard concoction of Ramones-style punk rock vigour, squalling garage rock guitars and Westerberg’s raw-throated vocals, the likes of ‘Customer‘ and ‘Kick Your Door Down‘ are the work of a band that sound almost constantly on the verge of drunkenly collapsing. And therein lies their charm. That said, the Replacements were never just a bunch of booze-addled noise addicts, as proved by the sparse melody and plaintive vocals of ‘Johnny’s Gonna Die‘. Truly, if punk is unpredictable by nature, then this lot were about as punk as they come.
Have a listen to ‘Hangin’ Downtown‘ on the link above, and decide for yourself. You might also like to check out the other re-releases; ‘Stink’, ‘Hootenanny‘ and ‘Let It Be‘ – all with bonus tracks included. Not a bad deal, all told.