Album Reviews

The Minus 5

Dungeon Golds

Artist:     The Minus 5

Album:     Dungeon Golds

Label:     Yep Roc Records

Release Date:     03/10/2015


Minus 5 linchpin Scott McCaughey (of Seattle’s unsung pop rockers The Young Fresh Fellows) may or may not have been aware that he was assembling, from a limited edition vinyl box, a concise, riff-wild, hook driven, craftily lyrical, 12 song deliberation loaded with all the humor, burlesque and hyperbole that mortality offers. He may also not have suspected he was assembling what is, by all intents and purposes, 2015’s first great disc.

Dungeon Golds takes its name from McCaughey’s basement studio, The Dungeon. But unlike Bob Dylan’s often ramshackle, ever-revelatory Basement Tapes, McCaughey’s tapes are a tightly wound, XTC-like excursion not only through the Minus 5’s particular canon, but indie-rock classicism as well. Recorded with a pop collective that included Jeff Tweedy, John Moen, the late Face Ian McLagan, Peter Buck of R.E.M, Linda Pitmon and Kurt Bloch, every track, among giants like “My Generation,” “Zero Clowns,” “It’s Beautiful Here,” “Remain In Lifeboat,” and “Hold Down The Fort,” buzzes with a liveliness far too uncommon these tense days.

– Mike Jurkovic

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