Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Replacements: "Songs For Slim" (EP review)

It took a severe illness to get the remaining Replacements back together to record.  The new EP, Songs For Slim, came together as a benefit for late-era 'Mats guitarist Slim Dunlap to help pay medical bills that have resulted from a stroke.  To date the auction of limited edition EPs has raised more than $100,000.  Now we get a wide-spread digital release to add to the coffers.

While none of these songs are Replacements originals, Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, and Chris Mars do put their stamps on them.

Most of the EP are Westerberg/Stinson collaborations.  The pair are in fine form on the ramshackle "Lost Highway" and the bouncy, slightly twangy showtune "Everything's Coming Up Roses".  Mars' contribution is the blazing rendition of the Dunlap rocker "Radio Hook Word Hit".

Shadows of the band's hard-living, hard-drinking days are still evident on "Busted Up".  The tracks is far cleaner and tighter than those peak boozing days, but the attitude lingers.

The standout track is a cover of Gordon Lightfoot's "I'm Not Sayin'".  It's transformed into a classic, slightly-askew, Westerberg love song.

Songs For Slim is not the new Replacements material we all hope and dream of, but it is a step closer, and more importantly, it's for a very good cause.  So buy it.

Best tracks: "Radio Hook Word Hit", "I'm Not Sayin'"

Track listing for Songs For Slim:
  • Busted Up
  • Radio Hook Word Hit
  • I'm Not Sayin'
  • Lost Highway
  • Everything's Coming Up Roses

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