Long before the Replacements were hailed as an influential "indie" or "alternative" rock band, the scrappy Minneapolis kids, whose unruly performances and behavior became boozy folklore, made some pretty killer punk tunes.

The band's hyperactive 1981 debut "Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash," which will be performed in its entirety at this year's third annual Replacements tribute show at First Avenue, introduced Twin Cities music fans to the snotty and snarling quartet and its whirling, under-two-minute assaults.

"These guys just came out of nowhere and unloaded this A-bomb of rock 'n' roll," said 89.3 The Current DJ Dave Campbell, who helped First Avenue's Sonia Grover curate the show celebrating the 30th anniversary of "Sorry Ma."

But if you're under 40, like Campbell (who will perform with indie-rockers Story of the Sea), chances are this wasn't your introduction to the Replacements. By 1985's "Tim," vestiges of the Mats' frenzied punk roots had largely dissipated.

So depending on your point of entry, "Sorry Ma's" 18-song blitzkrieg could feel out of place next to poppier albums like "Don't Tell a Soul," which showcased frontman Paul Westerberg's sensitive side.

"Because I didn't start out listening to ['Sorry Ma'], it seemed like a huge departure from the music I had gotten accustomed to listening to," said Grover, the booker extraordinaire whose infatuation with the band influenced her decision to move to the Twin Cities.

Whereas Westerberg would later tap into his sensitive side with ballads like "Unsatisfied" and "Here Comes a Regular," "Sorry Ma" reeked of devil-may-care adolescence and an abrasive, punk-rock attitude, exemplified by the end of "Shut Up," when Westerberg nasally shouts "Shut up! You suck! Fuck you! Good luck!"

Still, Westerberg's evolution as a songwriter was fluid. For every breakneck ripper like "Customer" or "Rattlesnake" there was a fetchingly thoughtful melody like the choruses on "Shiftless When Idle" or "I'm in Trouble," foreshadowing Westerberg's maturation.

For as much as the band is remembered for its later offerings, no album embodies the Replacements' enigmatic recalcitrance -- unpredictable live shows, a "Saturday Night Live" banning, thumbing their noses at MTV with an unplayable video -- better than "Sorry Ma."

"They were like an M-80 of a band: Light [the] fuse, stand back, watch the explosion and hope you don't lose any digits," Campbell said.

Musicians on 'ma'

We asked a few of Friday's performers to share their thoughts on the Mats' brash debut:

  • Christy Hunt, Pink Mink: "When I was in high school ... everybody seemed to be into punk rock. You went either with SST bands or you listened to the Replacements and 'Sorry Ma.'"
  • Gabriel Douglas, the 4onthefloor: "You can see Westerberg getting his feet as a songwriter, getting a hold on what his writing voice is."
  • Arzu Gokcen, Pink Mink: "There's not as much finesse -- it's just raw emotion."
  • Brenden Green, the Goondas: "I just like the raw and edgy punkness of [the songs] -- they've got attitude."