Review Summary: If you couldn't get enough of what you heard from 1981's "Sorry Ma Forgot To Take Out the Trash", then this EP can make extending that exciting experience possible.
Paul Westerberg: Guitar and Vocals
Bob Stinson: Guitar
Tommy Stinson: Bass
Chris Mars: Drums
Hailing from the suburbs of Minneapolis, the Replacements had just released their monstrous and eccentric debut "Sorry Ma Forgot To Take Out the Trash" in the summer of 81'. But while "Sorry Ma" was a complete and even slightly lengthy for the hardcore punk standards back in the day, the album was merely the larger portion of the first chapter of this quintessential alternative quartet. The end of the Mats' 100% mischievous hardcore punk phase had been brought to a fairly abrupt conclusion after 1982's "Stink" EP came out that summer. In fact, "Stink" was even more lightning fast and hilariously obnoxious than their previous release. Give the tracklist a good read before or even during the actual listening of this brief EP. You might have a decent chuckle looking over some of the rather blunt song titles.
"Kids Don't Follow"
One of the band's most notorious punk jams that kicks off this 8 track series of jawbreaking bursts of music, "Kids Don't Follow" was a particular anthem that helped the Mats earn a significant amount of attention in the punk community. In fact, the song overshadows the remaining seven songs off of this short-length EP (the tagline reading "KIDS DON'T FOLLOW" PLUS SEVEN). The song opens up with a recorded dialogue exchange between police officers and the band and their rebellious entourage between a closed door. If you listen carefully enough, you may be able to hear Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner cry out a resistant "*** you!" to the slightly intimidated officer behind the door.
The second song on this EP, "*** School" maintains the straight-forward and blatantly aggressive attitude that its opener "Kids Don't Follow" and is actually even more blunt in terms of its ferocious lyrics and brief song length. Not too catchy, but like the rest of these songs, memorization was definitely not the direction of the Replacements' intentions for this highly overlooked release. Still, I can guaran-goddamn-tee you that your average high school student will resonate their suppressed rage to the charging energy and anger expressed by this track, just as they most likely would the remaining 6 tracks.
"Stuck In the Middle"
While songs like "Kids Don't Follow", "*** School", and "God Damn Job" have us interpret the general lyrical attitudes of these songs as results of purely adolescent rage, it's other distinctly abrasive songs like this one and "White and Lazy" that show us more adult-like sources of hatred and anxiety. However, in terms of the musicality of this song overall, it has a similar young and snotty sound just like the previous two tracks.
"God Damn Job"
Not much to say about this track in particular, but still is worthwhile mentioning that is just as subversive and ireful as all as well as any of the 8 songs off of this EP, so it fits perfectly into the non-stop fluctuation of immaturely wrathful punk tunes.
"White and Lazy"
"White and Lazy" is probably my personal favorite song off of "Stink". It has an infectious blues beat to it with a suitable harmonica jam in the background off Westerberg rambling on about the everyday life an ill-ridden, Caucasian lecher. More towards the end, however, the band returns to the only shortly interrupted fast-paced hardcore punk sound of this release.
"Dope Smokin' Moron"
Another continuation of the upbeat and irate EP, "Dope Smokin' Moron" shows Paul's disapproval of the vapid behavioral patterns of suburban dope fiends with the chorus lyrics "Dope smokin' moron / Don't make me yawn".
The second longest track on this release next to "Kids Don't Follow"'s two minutes and fifty seconds, "Go" is actually not too fast-paced or odious as your typical hardcore punk song made back in the genre's glory days. It still features Westerberg's adolescent howl as well as his remarkable guitar work at the side of Bob Stinson's distinct tone and the track overall stands out as a pretty enjoyable song amongst the other seven tracks on this work.
The final track off of this EP, "Gimme Noise" has to be my third favorite song on 1982's "Stink". I certainly recommend it for those who are in the process of getting into either this EP alone or this specific chapter of the Mats' discography and late great career. Lyrically, the song features Westerberg's adaptation of an old nursery rhyme with his usual casual and nonchalant lyricism.
While 1982's "Stink" is a highly under-appreciated release from one of the greatest and most essential rock groups of the 1980s alternative renaissance, it is an important and even intriguing piece to the puzzle of what the Replacements were all about. Specifically, this EP and "Sorry Ma Forgot To Take Out the Trash" present lyrical anecdotes with a visible amount of attitude and angst to spare in the unforgettable songs off of these two specific releases.