The Replacements release new track “Poke Me In My Cage”

Replacements 2013

The Replacements have released a new song!

Though it may not be quite what you were expecting from the newly reformed band.

“Poke Me In My Cage” appeared on SoundCloud last week with very little fanfare, and is a 24 minute jazz improv jam written by ‘Mats main men Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson. It was recorded at Wooly Mammoth Sound in Waltham, Massachusetts.

The track went live on the 17th of December on what would have been Replacements founder and lead guitarist Bob Stinson’s 55th birthday, though whether the song is intended as a tribute has not been confirmed. Stinson died in 1995.

Westerberg has been teasing a new album from The Replacements in recent weeks, telling Rolling Stone that he already has a few tracks written that could be used on a new LP.

Watch this space, and listen to “Poke Me In My Cage” below:


Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song

The Replacements gearing up for new album?

Replacements 2013

Rumours are rife that The Replacements are planning a new studio album.

It would be their first since 1990’s All Shook Down and, according to Rolling Stone, the Minneapolis legends already have several songs written.

Frontman Paul Westerberg has apparently revealed two new song titles, including “Are You In It For The Money?” and “Dead Guitar Player”, perhaps a reference to the group’s original lead guitarist, Bob Stinson, who died in 1995.

Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson last year teamed up with drummer Josh Freese and guitarist Dave Minehan for a set of North American dates, including a headline slot at April’s Coachella and RiotFest.

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song

Without A Song: The Replacements | Let It Be

The Replacements Let It BeWithout a song throws a spotlight on albums and tracks beloved of Skin Back Alley. Old, new, classic or cutting edge, our aim is to share good music that has touched us through the years.

Artist: The Replacements
Album: Let It Be
Originally Released: 1984
Label: TwinTone

Go to your nearest record store. Preferrably an independent, but given the urgency of the task before you we’re not going to be picky. Rush in through the front door, stride with purpose up to the counter and request in a polite but firm manner to purchase a copy of Let It Be by The Replacements. Once you have handed over the cash (or most likely swiped, tapped and wrapped, these days), return home forthwith. More haste, less speed people.

Walk in to your abode, wherever it may be. Turn on the power to your stereo equipment / computer / other generic listening device. Put the CD in to the appropriate tray. Plug in your headphone jack and position the headphones themselves upon your own noggin in the preferred position. Adopt your listening pose, turn up the volume to a loud – but still healthy! – volume.

Finally, push play.

Now tell me Kurt Cobain wasn’t a fan.

Released in 1984, Let It Be seems to be precisely the sort of album that would have been a monstrous success had it been released ten years later. Utterly ragged yet unbearably melodic, it is chock full of wry observations about life in the margins. The album captures the moment when Paul Westerberg’s songwriting developed into something rounded and beautiful. The music and playing have come along, too since the days of their sloppy hardcore debut, Sorry Ma, Forgot to take out the trash.

It’s the raw passion and desperation that carry the day. Westerberg seems to sum it up in the mini-tornado of We’re Comin’ Out: “One more chance to get it all wrong / One more chance to do it all wrong / One more night to get it half right.” The band feel as though they are living right on the edge. This is the last chance they have to prove what they’re worth. And boy do they prove it.

Following two earlier, largely ignored releases, the album proved to be the ‘Mats critical crossover. Here was the ultimate balance between high and low brow. Just enough snotty, brash attitude to keep ‘the kids’ happy; just enough thought and emotion to please those beyond their adolescence. Where else would you find two minutes of rock n’ roll bluster along the lines of Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out, alongside the wracked, heart-on-sleeve, acoustic-led Unsatisfied and still have it all seemingly hold together (just.)

Westerberg’s throat must have been an open wound after recording some of these songs. The delicate balance between laceration and heart molestation is what brings to mind the grunge phenomenon that was Nirvana. Not only did the Seattle rockers seem to take some cues from the sonics of Let It Be, the whole template seems to be there in some primitive, primordial way. But just when you’re starting to take this album seriously, along comes Gary’s Got A Boner to bring you back down to earth with a bump (and a childish snigger.)

The Replacements went on to sign with Sire records and released what many consider to be their masterpiece, 1985 album Tim. But it was here, a year earlier, that so many fell in love with the ramshackle brand of rock n’ roll that the ‘Mats dealt in to such great effect. As such, it remains to many the record that captures that time in their life; that moment of coming of age. For it is truly a coming of age LP.

Now skip back to the beginning and listen again. If you don’t like it, don’t take it back to the store from which you bought it. Give it to someone else with the good sense to love it in the way that it deserves.

Find out more about The Replacements at their official website
You can buy the album from: The Skin Back Alley Music Store.

Replacements confirm reunion lineup

ReplacementsReunionThe Replacements have confirmed the lineup for what will be their first live shows together in 22 years. The first gig will take place in Toronto next Sunday, 25th August.

Founder members Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson announced in June that they would play some reunion shows as The Replacements for the first time since 1991. They will be joined by drummer Josh Freese and guitarist Dave Minehan.

Freese and Stinson have already played together as part of the Guns N Roses lineup that toured and recorded in the late 90s, and Freese and Minehan have played with Westerberg as part of his solo shows in the early 90s.

The Toronto gig is one of a three-show headlining slot as part of the American alternative rock roadshow, Riot Fest. The second leg comes in Chicago on September 15th and the third in Denver on September 21st.