Bash & Pop - Anything Could Happen album review

The title promises and the album delivers

Cover art for Bash & Pop - Anything Could Happen album

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Last time former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson released a Pop & Bash album, Slash was still in Guns N’ Roses, the DVD hadn’t been invented, and Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had just left high school. It was a generation ago – in the meantime, Stinson’s served the best part of two decades in the Gunners himself – but you’d never know it from this album, which picks up where 1993 left off with effervescent glee.

Packed with the kind of vim and swagger that the Stones somehow abandoned back in the late 1970s, it’s rich in Replacements DNA, somehow juggling snotty R&B, groggy melancholia and gallows humour into the kind of album that hasn’t been made since, ooh, All Shook Down. From the jubilant Unfuck You via the delightfully lackadaisical Can’t Be Bothered to the tiny snatch of Jingle Bells that enlightens the tail of the otherwise entirely grim Christmas blues Anytime Soon, Anything Can Happen is an absolute delight. If all the album achieves is to serve as a playful reminder of the ramshackle brilliance of Stinson’s old band, so be it. But it deserves better. It’s joyous. And Paul Westerberg is nowhere to be seen.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.