Village Gorilla Head
First Appeared in The Music Box, September 2004, Volume 11, #9
Written by John Metzger
At the age of 13, Tommy Stinson was in the enviable position of being a founding member of The Replacements, and after the critically lauded group disbanded in 1991, he formed two ensembles of his own (Bash and Pop; Perfect) before joining Guns N‘ Roses for a stint as its bass player. Regardless of his past accomplishments, however, it took until the recent release of his solo debut Village Gorilla Head for Stinson truly to begin defining himself as an artist in his own right. Although he still has room to grow, the effort is stuffed to the brim with remarkably solid performances. Not surprisingly, the bulk of the material mixes a gritty punk-rock ethos with sturdy pop-infused melodies — none of which ever strays very far from the music that he made with The Replacements — and his snarling, disenchanted lyrics are as much a product of former bandmate Paul Westerberg’s musings as they are those of Bob Dylan or John Lennon. While one wishes Stinson had taken a few more risks with his initial gambit, it also is quite hard to complain. The blistering rockers pulsate with a rough and rowdy raucousness while the remainder of the collection effectively explores the pantheons of classic rock and pop, occasionally turning out a few gems in the process. Better still, Village Gorilla Head bristles with the sort of passion that’s been missing from much of the material released by the post-Replacements pack, even if it is a less-than-perfect endeavor. ˝
Village Gorilla Head is available from
Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box