The I Don’t Cares Really Give a Damn

Read our review of Wild Stab by The I Don’t Cares

i dont cares

Juliana Hatfield & Paul Westerberg

 

Interest in the brilliant and disorderly post punk outfit The Replacements has never abated.   While the 80’s turned out to be a truly patchy music decade, the band dropped seven albums which at their finest, were a beacon of energy and passion.

In recent years, we’ve had a band documentary (Color Me Obsessed) and books such as The Replacements – All Over Bar The Shouting: An Oral History and Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements.  In 2013 band members Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, and Chris Mars reunited for Songs for Slim, a covers EP to raise money for their former guitarist Slim Dunlap, who suffered a stroke.  A reunion followed briefly, then fizzled out

Paul Westerberg was the iconic lead singer and chief songwriter of the outfit and has released a number of commendable solo albums, showcasing that brilliant and distinctive voice and an ear for a rollicking melody that was so key to the success of The Replacements.

Now we have he and Juliana Hatfield combining for an album Wild Stab (Dry Wood Music) under the grammatically-challenged moniker of The I Don’t Cares.

Hatfield has her own solo career (around twelve albums) after stints with Blake Babies, Some Girls and Minor Alps.  She dedicated an entire chapter of her 2008 book When I Grow up: A Memoir to Westerberg and frequently talks about the Replacements’ influence on her.  Hatfield was asked to open for him on a solo tour after The Replacements broke up, but the tour ended up being canceled after Westerberg threw out his back.

Read our review of Wild Stab by The I Don’t Cares

 

i dont cares - wild stab

 

Wild Stab has sixteen tracks coming in at around 45 minutes.  Hatfield’s playing and support vocals add important elements, but there is little doubt that the principal interest here is that it is a long-awaited Westerberg project.  The opening track ‘Back’ starts off proceedings with the telling line “I’m back if you’ll have me”, a statement of purpose thoroughly welcome after many years of sporadic output.

There are some killer tracks here – ‘King of America’ has a classic power melody and dynamic rhythm – “shout it out!”.   ‘Hands Together’ is an epic, emotional tale sung with a cracked voice, touching on so much it requires many listens – it starts with baseball legend Ty Cobb’s funeral and dancing with Greta Garbo, and provides countless weary insights into everyday life.  ‘Sorry for Tomorrow Night’ wittily provides apologies in advance for not being able to show up, “tomorrow night and the next week after that”.

Wild Stab is an immensely likeable record.  Westerberg and Hatfield sound like they are enjoying themselves, providing a collection which has plenty of loose-limbed energy, heartworn and humorous songs, and winning vocals.

I received a digital copy of the album with little background material.  Spending some time getting a good deal more information about the release has been largely disappointing, indicating that to date there has not been a lot of promotion to this album (hopefully it’s not my research skills that are lacking!).  This shortage needs to be addressed, as Wild Stab needs to get wide exposure, so we can all fully enjoy these old hands rock it up.

Read our review of Wild Stab by The I Don’t Cares

Wild Stab Tracklist:
01. Back
02. Wear Me Out Loud
03. Born For Me
04. 1/2 2P
05. Sorry for Tomorrow Night
06. Dance to the Fight
07. Kissing Break
08. Just a Phase
09. Outta My System
10. Need the Guys
11. Love Out Loud
12. King of America
13. Little People
14. Whole Lotta Nothin’
15. Done Done Done
16. Hands Together

 

Read our review of Wild Stab by The I Don’t Cares

 

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Author: Rob Dickens

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