Closer 2 Normal
If trash-punk guitar virtuoso Bob Stinson had a way of making fellow musicians feel like it was him and them against the world, most of these musicians also got the impression that the world was winning. |
Recorded in 1989 and 1990 by Stinson's "art blues" outfit, Closer 2 Normal has remained unreleased until now, half a decade after The Replacements guitarist's death. Static Taxi stands as perhaps the best snapshot of Stinson's genius out of the shadow of the 'Mats. The band found its sound inside a kerosene-heated train car in 1989, where four guys-- Stinson with some art-school punks and cabbies-- gathered to drink, jam, drop LSD, and record demos. By 1991 they had put to tape an album's worth of studio material before promptly folding, never having recovered from the loss of their beloved boxcar the year before, when a nearby warehouse burned down. Since Stinson's final drug spiral, it has been difficult to romanticize that era. Birdman Records has decided that the grace period has ended and these songs were worth resurrecting for more than the sake of nostalgia or the opportunity to mourn.
The lyrical ache of the cascading guitar shimmer on these recordings is enough to make you weep. Stinson's springtime-sludge textures elevate Ray Reigstad's snotty choruses and jumpy rhythms to the level of great gonzoid power-pop. There was chemistry amid the chemicals of that train car-- now everyone can hear it for themselves.
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