Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Battle of the live albums Part2 (Minutemen vs The Replacements)

Minutemen “Ballot Result” vs The Replacements “The Shit Hits the Fans”

Ballot Result [PA]

The Minutemen and The Replacements: Both bands formed with their rooted in the punk scene while it would be call difficult to either strictly a punk band as both stretched from the genre’s confines.    Bobby Stinson’s guitar and Paul Westerberg’s snotty attitude drove The Replacements rock edge.  The Minutemen blended funk, jazz and classic rock into their punk mix. The Minutemen live album was intended but was impossibility, due to singer/guitarist D.Boon’s untimely demise in a car accident.  The Replacements album is an album that really should never have happened.  An intending bootlegger, who was discovered recording in the crowd, recorded the band’s show only to have the cassette taken and offically released on cassette only by Twin/Tone Records.   Unlike The Minutemen double album where their fans picked the songs they wanted to hear, The Replacements must have pissed off their attending fans by playing a large number of covers.

 The vocals on the first few Replacements songs feature slurred vocals and the holding of the guitar sound like a battle and the band is losing by more than a country mile.  The drumming on songs like “Saturday night Special” is sloppy at best, whereas on “Ballot Result” the musicianship is stunning throughout.  Mike Watt’s bass and George Hurley’s drumming shines through radiantly on songs like “I Felt like A Gringo”. Occasionally The Replacements start covers like U2’s “I Will Follow” only to abandon them not even getting past the intro. Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” is butchered and beaten in a transformation into “Iron Man”.   There are fleeting moments on the band’s originals where a beautiful guitar sound comes through.  In contrast, all the Minutemen songs are all their originals and some of the songs are live in a radio studio. Before playing “Jesus and Tequila” D.Boon explains the preceding song live to an audience that he couldn’t see or hear.   The Replacements are expecting a reaction from their unsure audience. Heckling and clapping both mean the band is getting noticed.  The Minutemen album “Ballot Result” has a scrapbook nature with cut and pasting of mostly live clips over five years with a studio remix of “No one” while the “The Shit Hits the Fans” is a snapshot of a night out with a very drunk band.    Paul Westerberg and crew’s off night inspires cracking open a beer or preferably more to enjoy the recording in the same manner as the band. “Whem the Shit Hits the Fans” is a curiosity rather than a great live representation of The Replacements works.   From the start,The Minutemen album was about satisfying the desires of their fans and here it succeeds although it lacks the same flow as a night out with the band.

Winner: Minutemen

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