steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Static Taxi

"Closer 2 Normal" CD

Birdman Records

Genres: blues rock, experimental rock

Birdman Records
1118 Magnolia Blvd.
PO Box 208
Burbank, CA 91606

Nov 24 - 30 2003

Bob Stinson was one of the most inventive and influential rock guitarists ever to live.  Though his life was short, he managed to contribute his talents to hundreds of recordings and play countless live shows over its duration.  Though he is best known as an original member of The Replacements, Stinson was also involved in a number of other projects after his falling out with the band.  Static Taxi is listed as his four year (1988-1991) "art blues" stint, and after more than ten years of unreleased purgatory, Birdman Records has finally dug up the band's tapes and put them together as Closer 2 Normal.

With that said, this album has some real gems on it.  Tracks like "Cop Tape," "Such a Chick," and "Mr. Blu" are pure classic melodic blues-rock tunes; they are all undeniably melodic and beautiful.  Tracks like "FAFA" and "We Do" are also great, except more powerful, with a high-octane rock n' roll sound.  Overall, the combination of powerful and calm songs is nice, albeit a bit sporadic and jumpy.  Stinson's talent for raucous, carefree performance is matched well by inspired, unconventional songwriting and a dash of real melodic sensibility.  Though this album is by no means perfect, it's still a great record and an essential purchase for open-minded Replacements fans.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]