Once, Twice, Three Times A Maybe
After The Replacements called it a day and before he joined forces with the much delayed Guns N’ Roses Mark II, bassist Tommy Stinson recorded an album called Seven Days a Week. A follow-up to an unimpressive earlier EP and a much better effort with a band called Bash N Pop, the record got lost in record label politics and was shelved until 2004. Now re-mixed and re-titled, the much-bootlegged disc proves to be not quite a lost classic but certainly a decent collection of mid-90s power pop, with much of the energy Stinson brought to his work with the Mats.
Opening track “Better Days” comes out rocking with Stinson’s pumping bass, a gonzo guitar solo and a terrific chorus. Nice harmonies up the ante on “Turn It Up,” which finds Stinson straining at the top of his reedy, nicotine-ravaged vocal range. The driving rocker “Little Drum” sports a very Mats-like riff. But “Thing I Call My Life” is definitely an album highlight.
Stinson may not have the clever wordplay of his former Replacements bandmate Paul Westerberg, but he does have a knack for great hooks. And the joy of rocking out is evident in the grooves here. A few choruses do sound a bit too similar, and the record, though on the short side, probably could have done without the speedcore throwaway “Yap Yap.” But this is a record that was supposed to come out in 1996. If it had and if it had been successful, it might have saved Stinson from the tyranny of that reclusive wacko perfectionist Axl Rose. Too bad.