Bash & Pop – ‘Anything Could Happen’ (Fat Possum Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Dom Daley   
Friday, 10 February 2017 04:30

Bash And Pop artworkSo 2017 has started slowly… not!  More like a nuclear bomb going off, with album after album of top notch rock ‘n’ roll being released what seems like every other day.  Coming from all over the western world and flying into my speakers, it's been an amazingly high standard of records released so far… Then this bad boy arrives:  maybe it’s a few decades after it should have come out but, hey, time flies and all that.  

 

I wasn't expecting a new Replacements album any day soon, and I wasn't looking to the horizon for a new Tommy Stinson or a Perfect platter either… then Bash & Pop threw out this little beauty. Being one of those pledge pre-release offerings at a big cost for a CD or record, it was a little on the rich side for me (even if it was signed) so I decided to wait until it had its commercial release and pick it up for a far more reasonable and affordable price (boy, was that a good move?).

 

Dropping the needle on a Bash & Pop record might mean absolutely nothing to some people reading these pages, but I'd like to think the more clued up have had exactly the same feeling I have.  Like the good old days of traipsing into town to the record shop to pick up your copy, you spent the bus journey home reading any sleeve notes and gawping at the pictures or reading the lyrics wondering what the songs might sound like.  Once the needle dropped and 'Not This Time' rattled out of my speakers, my toes were tapping and I felt a warm smile as the song unfolded and it was everything I hoped it would be. Uptempo and with a dash of Replacements at its heart.  The countrified twang made this way cooler than any of the other records I've played this week or last seeing as you asked.

 

'On The Rocks' followed suit and it boogie-woogied out of the speakers: whilst the guitars clashed, the bass walked with a strut, as the melody sounded warm and like something you wanted.  You might not have known you wanted it, but believe me you did.

 

In fairness this record is going to form as the title track is a confident foot stomper and 'Breathing Room' is a more light-hearted affair, as is 'Anybody Else':  with its bass and synth intro the song sort of plods along, but raises its game for the chorus, and offers some variety and a change of pace as well.  The acoustic and slide comes out for 'Can't Be Bothered', which will excite latter day Mats fans because bar the recent(ish) reunion shows the Mats have not been a going concern for many years; and whilst Bash & Pop haven't either, there are plenty of Mats influences - or similarities - on this here record.  It has been mentioned that Stinson wrote at least some of these tunes in readiness for a mooted Mats album, but that never happened (not yet anyway), so why not resurrect the post Mats band name and take those tunes out for a test drive.  Why not indeed?  I'm loving this record and, having played it for a few weeks, that excitement and interest hasn't faltered, and songs like 'Bad News' are beginning to take a hold. 

 

 

I'd like to think songs like 'Never Wanted To Know' were also mooted for that Mats record, and it's tough not to listen to these songs without thinking how it might have sounded with Westerberg singing and adding his blood sweat and tears poured into the mix.  Having said that, this is pretty damn good as it is. 'Anytime Soon' is a late night kick back as the snare is brushed rather than beaten, and again a direct contrast to the previous tune, which is a great tempo change and variety that makes this such a great record.  If nothing else there was always a fun side to The Mats and Stinson throwing the happy go lucky rock ‘n’ rolla that is 'Unfuck You' into the mix underlines this.  Like a tip of the hat to bands like The Faces this is a lot of fun and a great tune to boot - yeah ha!!! That party mood is continued with 'Jesus Loves You':   maybe this is Stinson putting a full stop on his past and adding an exclamation mark and a big fat full stop? Who knows?  Maybe visiting the past to get to the future is how it’s meant to be, but fans should love this offering from top to bottom and start to finish:  it’s what we all craved for, in some way.  It might not be the name, nor the right personnel, but this will more than do - and who knows what the future holds? As the record says, 'Anything Can Happen'! 

 

Stinson sure can write a decent tune and he can also put together a great band to play ‘em – oh, and he can also sing those tunes too. It might have been over 20 years since he used the name Bash & Pop, but he's not stood still, sitting on his hands waiting for Paul to call - and this is proof.

 

Great record!

 

‘Anything Could Happen’ is out now.  You can get your copy HERE.

 

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