The Tim Version have been on No Idea Records churning out country-tinged punk records for what seems like forever. Their new album Ordinary Life is essentially business-as-usual. As a result, I essentially feel the same way about it as I do about their other records: inconsistent. And pretty unoriginal, to be honest (says a pop-punk fan). This is a band brought up on whiskey, campfires, The Replacements (particularly Tim-era stuff, hence the name) and Gram Parsons. They combine the story-telling aesthetic of country with the raw drive of punk rock, in similar ways to Lucero and Two Cow Garage.
Ordinary Life starts pretty promisingly: opener “For the Birds” is a mid-tempo, anthemic punk-rock hit, ticking all the right boxes. “A Dream about Dean’s Dream” is probably the best song on the album: catchy-as-ebola bar rock; a poppy Replacements-esque ditty. They probably get tired of the Replacements comparisons, but it is so very apt, or I would try to avoid it, even down to the Westerberg vocals. I would say the record starts to go downhill at “The Future of Humanity is Dogs”: a great song title, boring-as-fuck country song. The continual refrain of “one million years” is apt considering that feels how long the song lasts for. It’s just too damn long, maaaaan. A nearly 7 minutes long song for a punk band: fuck right off. I’m not totally against it. It has worked in the past (that Houseboat thing springs to mind), but my God, this song does not deserve 2 minutes, let alone 6. The rest of the album is roughly more of the same as the first half, but past when you stopped paying attention. Faster bar-punk anthems alongside country ditties, and yet another unwarranted 6 minute-plus song. So yeah, this is just ok, but to be honest, mid-era Replacements were incredible, but sometimes I wish it had never happened just to make sure this slew of copycat bands didn’t exist.