In 2016, J Eastman and the Drunk Uncles – a bar band from Minneapolis with an Uncle Tupelo obsession – released ‘No Capo Required’, a rough and ready EP that was as much a gutsy homage to their musical heroes as a no-frills love letter to musical fun. Not all good music has to be perfect and the Uncles seemed keen to champion that message. Two years on, the follow up ‘Pleasing Some of The People…’ keeps a firm hold on their slightly sloppy but incredibly gung ho style, but trades in some of the more rootsy elements for a tough but not always entirely tuneful power pop edge. Put it this way: with mid-period Replacements as part of the blueprint, you can’t help but hear more than a trace of the best music that sprang from their geographical roots on parts of this release.
Mineappolis rockers The Right Here pay tribute to one of their favourite local venues in the new video for their single ‘Judge Me When I’m Sober’. The intimate and worn-in setting provides a great backdrop for the track, since the band come across like a hybrid of The Replacements and Gaslight Anthem, combined with the roughest edge of the much missed Uncle Tupelo.
This Minneapolis based garage rock band is entirely unpretentious. At no point do these musicians stretch too far beyond their garage-ish musical limits – limits that are occasionally just a little too obvious – nor do they display any kind of ego. By their own admission, J. Eastman & The Drunk Uncles are rather shambolic. Still, a fairly loose and carefree attitude has got them so far and this third release works very much on a maxim of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Or in the case of the Uncles, it might even be “if it sounds a bit broke, let’s swill some booze and knock things about until they sound better.”
True to their word, bits of ‘No Capo Required’ do indeed sound sloppy. That said, you’ll have heard sloppier…and sometimes from bands who actually genuinely believe they’re the very acme of musical perfection.
Hailing from St. Paul, Minnesota – once home to the legendary Husker Du – indie rock/power pop act The Persian Leaps can be expected to come with a certain level of musical pedigree. Across four EPs, released between 2013-2016, they’ve more than proved themselves. Having already honed a great sound that takes elements of the most melodic Huskers, early R.E.M. and Let’s Active, their first four releases potentially sets them up as the greatest 80s college rock band that never was.