BENT OUTTA SHAPE: Stray Dog Town: LP

Don’t get scared when I say Bent Outta Shape has matured from their tumbling 12”EP and early 7”s. They’re not singing about mortgages, elbowing into sweater vests, and ordering lattes in Volvos. But, this LP is a marked departure from their delightfully rip-shod Toys That Kill meets Horrible Odds debuts. First and foremost, it reminds me of the Replacements. Not just generically Replacement-esque, but a celebration of almost their entire catalog, cherry picked, distilled, and turned into a new form of DIY wine. The songwriting, although not as bombastic, and taking a couple of spins to let settle in, is just as compelling when they go fast and when they cool their heels. Megan Pants made the astute remark when listening to this: “It sounds old, like it came out awhile ago.” And she’s right—old not meaning bad. Curiously, this has all the earmarks of a landmark early ‘80s punk record without the distasteful smell of burned-out rehash. Bent Outta Shape have rediscovered a comfortable, exciting sound, one that I think got discarded before being fully explored. Why the hell not revive the ghosts and push them further than they went before? Excellent stuff.

 –todd (Recess)