Bash & Pop “Anything Could Happen”
The band Bash & Pop may not be known to you. But you should sure as hell recognise the name Tommy Stinson. Now hopefully that’s because you’re a fan of the legendary Replacements, rather than knowing him as playing in one of the lesser versions of Guns N Roses!! Bash & Pop is one of his post Replacement bands that has somewhat suddenly, if belatedly, reappeared with this release. In fact, it’s been 14 years since they released their last record..that’s some build up!
We might as well get The Replacements references out of the way upfront. Sure there are plenty of songs on this album which fans of that band will love. Tracks like “Not This Time” and “Anything Could Happen” are based on the same principles of offering up great songs built on melody and delivered with a punk ethic. However, the slight difference here is that they are delivered with a sense of 100% fun and without the darker after taste of many Replacement numbers. A point made crystal clear by the brilliant (and funny) “Unfuck You”.
Indeed, on some songs that melodic intent is taken even further and into almost pop territory. Certainly, “Anybody Else” and “Bad News” have a real Tom Petty feel to them. Songs like “Never Wanted To Know” and “Jesus Loves You” are just some of the finest and crunchiest power pop songs you’ll hear. Importantly though, the album doesn’t fall in to the trap of being one dimensional. “Can’t Be Bothered” is a quite glorious acoustic flavoured song that begs to be played on a sunny afternoon. Whilst “Anytime Soon” takes in an almost country, bar room blues sound.
Perhaps wrongly, we were genuinely surprised by how brilliant this album is. Maybe it was just the worry that it has to be compared to his back catalogue with The Replacements. The fact is that this is a fantastic collection of rocking power pop songs that stands up proudly against his previous releases. It far surpasses the material being produced by ‘younger’ up and coming bands. Let’s hope that we now get the chance to see this album being toured and perhaps we won’t have to wait as long for the next Bash & Pop album.