The Minus 5 Minus 5 In Rock

Minus 5 In Rock is accompanied by one of those great "the little record that could” stories that bolsters a fan’s belief that they are listening to something special. Minus 5 leader, Scott McCaughey, has received a great deal of exposure in that last couple of years. Though he could recently be spotted as a sideman in the large touring company that is R.E.M., perhaps McCaughey’s most noticeable move came with Minus 5’s collaboration with America’s biggest band on last year’s Down With Wilco. The record prompted promo stops with Wilco on Letterman and undoubtedly brought the band a huge, new audience. While a new Minus 5 album is currently being constructed (again, featuring Wilco on a few songs), the band’s label has offered up this reissue of a lesser known album of excellent songs to tide fans over. After enlisting members of Wilco to back him up during the closing ceremonies of Chicago’s renowned Lounge Ax club in 2000, McCaughey drove the unrehearsed band through songs he hastily composed just for the occasion. Returning to his home in Seattle, McCaughey entered a studio with Peter Buck, John Ramberg, and Bill Rieflin in tow and recorded most of the songs found here in a day. Not a real Minus 5 record per se, 1000 CDs soon appeared on the obscure Book Records imprint and were snapped up by fans at live shows, while McCaughey and the band’s members moved onto other things. For this deluxe version of Minus 5 In Rock, two original songs were dropped and four new ones added. The results are an inspired, loose (though not as loose as one might suspect) collection of songs that contribute to the band’s fun-filled reputation. Grungy take-offs like "Bambi Molester” work well with the catchy pop of "Dear My Inspiration” and "In a Lonely Coffin,” while "The Night Chicago Died Again” evokes the spirit of that fabled Lounge Ax gig. Jokers Chris Ballew and John Wesley Harding surely must have added to the tomfoolery in contributing to the album, which justly deserves this wide release. "We always thought it was a real record,” McCaughey has said. "Now it really is.” (Yep Roc)