April 27, 2018 | by James Greene, Jr.
April 29th will mark 35 years since the Replacements released Hootenanny, the storied group's sophomore full length that captures their punk insouciance giving way to broader, more earnest expression. In many ways, the album also crystalizes the offbeat humor that would become just as synonymous with the 'Mats as heart-squeezing ballads like "Within Your Reach" and "Treatment Bound." Witness the quartet switch instruments to purposely dreadful results, swerve into television theme songs for just one measure, and simply read classified ads over jazzy improv.
Youthful nihilism never fully evaporated from the Replacements, of course — and some might argue it actually grew larger alongside the band's fame, crippling them in several fatal ways. At any rate, Paul Westerberg cements what many take as his group's mission statement during the boozy shuffle of "Treatment Bound" when he bitterly groans "[the] label wants a hit and we don't give a shit!"
Thanks for balancing act, guys. If you need a fishing partner, please let me know.