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Charity EP marks return of The Replacements

Bands of glory returning after years apart rarely equal the power they brought before. The more important the band, the truer that aphorism. Few bands were, and are, more important than The Replacements, which sprung from the American punk movement and evolved into folk-influenced pop.

Original guitarist Bob Stinson died in 1995; and a stroke affecting replacement guitarist Slim Dunlop and the effort to raise money for his medical bills was the impetus for a Replacements five-song reunion EP available online, Songs for Slim. The effort can’t be considered in the canon of great Replacement songs, though “Lost Highways” confirms the link between the ’Mats and country-influenced outlaws such as Social Distortion. Of the other four songs, “I’m Not Saying” is most reminiscent of the band’s melodic and lyrical high point. LAUNCE RAKE