Sunday, July 28, 2013

EP Review: No Fun Intended

Title:  No Fun Intended (Amazon, iTunes, Rhapsody)

No Fun Intended is the first of four self-released covers EPs that includes Soul Asylum taking on classics from The Suicide Commandos, Joy Division, and The MC5.  The EP opens with The Suicide Commandos’ “Attacking The Beat” followed by a surprisingly faithful take on Joy Division’s goth classic “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and closing out with The MC5’s “Shakin’ Street.”  For those who only know the band from their 1993 smash hit “Runaway Train,” an EP of early punk covers might seem odd but they couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

Soul Asylum started in 1981 in the same Minneapolis, MN scene that gave rise to Husker Du and The Replacements.  The band’s early material was that type of raw, high energy power pop meets punk meets rock ‘n’ roll that would eventually become known as college rock and helped lay the foundation for the alternative music explosion of the early 1990s.  Knowing the band’s history, No Fun Intended makes absolutely perfect sense, especially considering their love of cover songs (see their outstanding cover of Marvin Gaye’s classic “Sexual Healing” from the No Alternative compilation and their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” which they performed for President Bill Clinton).   

One of the best things about No Fun Intended is its energy.  For a band that has been together for 30 years, one would think that some of that energy would have faded, but that is not the case with Soul Asylum.  This is a great EP and I can’t wait to hear the next three in this series.

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