the minus 5 is like a blast of fresh air, a very needed thing in these musically-horse-lattitude-days.
scott mccaughy (pronounced 'mccoy'), his partner in crime, peter buck (of r.e.m.), and numerous musical friends have delivered a killer record. the self-titled 7th album has been labled by fans as 'the gun album', mostly for the haunting cover as well as the fact that many of the tunes mention firearms. but musically this is faraway from a violent record. like the rest of the minus 5 cataloge, it is quirky, ragged, well crafted pop rock. altho the lyrics are dark at times, the music is hum-along good, making hearing it over again and again something that peels the layers off, revealing a deep and thoughtful record laced with dry humour and toe-tappin' tunes.
this record is not as poppy and lightweight as their best effort, 'down with wilco', (a tougne-in-cheek title... it was done with wilco backing scott), but it is just as easy to fall in love with. a country-tinged semi-psychedelic beatle inspired endevour that seems cohesive and chaotic all at once. scott's plaintive moan over a farfisa organ and syd barrett-like slide on 'left over life to kill' sounds lifted from a late 60's acid record. the chipper feeling on 'my life as a creep' is infectious with it's sgt. pepper pumping piano and skewed falsetto backing vocals.
at times lyrically hilarious, with lines like, 'i had six white russians tonite and two of them were people', from the catchy hook and riff laden 'out on the maroon', the cd had us rolling on the floor at first listen... and there's been many listens since.
the minus 5 is with out a doubt the best album of the year, so far.
mp3's from the minus 5 'gun album' via yousendit for less time than it takes to load a pistol:
my life as a creep
leftover life to kill
out on the maroon
(buy the minus 5!)
the little black egg (an amazing cover of the nightcrawlers song)
and a really interesting interview and some live studio treatments from the new record:
the minus 5 on npr 05-04-06 (stream)