In the long-honored tradition of solo records from Guns N’ Roses members, Tommy Stinson delivers One Man Mutiny. Of course, Stinson has an intriguing back story—he joined the legendary Replacements at age 13, playing with them and even getting manager Peter Jesperson to sign off as a legal guardian for touring’s sake. But that was thirty years ago. The purpose here is his second solo outing.
The record starts off with bluesy rock that, thankfully, doesn’t continue throughout. While “Don’t Deserve You” and “It’s a Drag,” definitely pull from this style, the record runs, essentially, in three varied parts. The first is full blown rock with swagger. The middle tier is built around Replacements-styled pop, and the end draws an alt country feel. Overall, it’s a bit disjointed and doesn’t seem to stick with any one style. After the first couple songs, the gears shift toward jangly pop, with a healthy dose of Paul Westerberg channeling in the vocal textures. It’s a lazy, yet semi-aggressive, style with a crisp sense of melody that really defines the songs. While this batch of songs, roughly from “Meant to Be” through “Seize the Moment,” are all decent songs, they really don’t jump out from the pack. They sound like Replacements/Westerberg, but minus the memorable pieces. It’s a solid enough two minute pop song, but it fades when the next one begins.
The record’s strongest tracks are the ones that bear more of a solo feel. The country “Zero to Stupid” mines familiar sad-about-a-girl subject matter with a forlornness that makes it among the more memorable tracks. His voice carries a world weary tone of resignation and wear and tear, and in the title track it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say his voice is as ragged as Dylan (though less nasal). It portrays an honest, humble sense in the songs, and their charm lies mostly in the everyman sense behind them than in any of the hooks or melodies.
As a whole, the record will appeal to fans of The Replacements, of course, and should also have some pull for straight-up pop rock musicians like Tom Petty or mid-era Springsteen. It’s largely rock’n’roll minus the splash, wearing its working class hero proudly on its sleeve and without the self-indulgence. While none of the ten tracks here are true clunkers, none really rise above either.
6.0 / 10
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