Eclectic and Exciting
Tommy Stinson first rose to prominence as the bass guitarist of the Replacements in the 1980s, who are widely considered to be among the most influential alternative rock bands of all time. Following their breakup, Stinson switched to guitar and vocals and formed a new project called Bash & Pop, which released one album in 1993 before disbanding. Now, Stinson has reformed the band with an all-new lineup and an all-new album 23 years later.
Anything Can Happen is very indicative of some of the Replacements’ early punk-y releases, but this album mixes that aesthetic with Southern-style swagger and sinful ZZ Top-esque blues shredding to create a product that manages to be head-scratching and head-banging at the same time.
Stinson wastes no time in introducing the listener to the country-punk mélange as opening track “Not This Time” shortly and sweetly knocks listeners on their butts. Immediately after come “On the Rocks” and the title track, both of which have radio-ready catchiness, with the latter including one of many kick-ass Steve Selvidge guitar solos. The rest of the tracks weave back and forth on the spectrum. “Breathing Room” and “Anytime Soon” add honky-tonk keys to the sound to give it an especially Southern touch. “Bad News” and “Never Wanted To Know” crank up the distortion on Stinson’s rhythm guitar, and “Shortcut” and “Can’t Be Bothered” are pleasant acoustic ballads. Stinson’s vocals are consistently raspy and thin, but they deliver the melodies as necessary and fit the album’s sound perfectly.
This entire album is fun, but its most crazy moment comes on the track “Unf*** You,” in which Stinson wishes he’d never met a hypothetical woman who did him wrong. The chorus is him authoritatively singing the title line over and over, which may cause listeners to literally laugh out loud.
As a whole, Anything Can Happen is a fantastic album, one that not only provides an innovative sound, but one that is consistently fun and catchy. It would be shocking if anyone who listened to the album all the way through wouldn’t finish it with some form of a smile on their face.