I'm not sure if there's a punk rock argument akin to the "Beatles or Stones?" question posed by rock and roll, but if there were, I'd like it to be: "Hüsker Dü or Replacements?" Growing up listening to KATS, 94.5 FM, Yakima's classic rock station, I was at least sort of familiar with a Replacements song or two. Somehow they occasionally squeezed Alex Chilton in between More Than a Feelin' and Barracuda. All this to say that I did not grow up with any sort of affinity for the Replacements, and furthermore, still associate them to an unfortunate degree with Bob Seger, Heart and Bad Company. So when I got Hüsker Dü's New Day Rising LP from Ron's Roost, in the fall of 1992, I was blown away. It was a trebly mess of fast, strained punk rock. I thought it was my shitty dorm room hybrid-boom box system, but when I finally got the record running through a decent receiver/speakers, it dawned on me that the band's sound was totally intentional. So, all this to say, in terms of influential-as-hell Minnestota punk bands, I liked Hüsker Dü more. In the past handful of years, I've come around to the fact that the Replacements always deserved way more attention. Thanks for nothing, KATS FM.
Now, uh, I realize this is a long, long introduction for a band from Olympia whose music (just) reminds me a lot of the Replacements stock in trade: earnest and kind of drunk/sloppy, but with an incredible strength and awesome ability for writing a melody. RVIVR is one of those bands whose love of music translates immediately into their stage presence, songs and whole everything. Total Organizer Johnny Fink described them as the kind of "folks who would actually stick around to clean up beer cans after the house show." With Pasties, and ex-Shorebirds folks, one has a hard time going wrong! RVIVR! RVIVR! YES!