Although he’s been playing bass in Guns N’ Roses for longer than he was ever Paul Westerberg’s lieutenant in the Replacements, Tommy Stinson hasn’t forgotten how to write a song pitched on the dark side of despair.
One Man Mutiny – released on his own label and recorded in his fiancée’s basement – starts with a typically downbeat blaze of American punk rock in Don’t Deserve You and soon establishes its credentials on the Stones-inspired slide and sleaze of It’s A Drag, but the artist’s own brand of melancholia is never far off.
Chip Roberts provides most of the lead guitar while Tommy’s partner Emily Roberts proves to be a fine vocal foil. The effect is pleasingly familiar. Touches of the Velvets and Big Star creep in, Meant To Be sounds like the kind of Southern delight Tom Petty used to provide, and the title track nods at Dylan and The Band.
Stinson doesn’t make many solo records (it’s been eight long years since Village Gorilla Head) but this was worth the wait, even if the one collaboration with Westerberg, Match Made In Hell, doesn’t really live up to expectations.