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the pathetic caverns - music by artist - The Minus 5

eclectic reviews and opinions

The Minus 5

Old Liquidator

(Malt, 1995/1997)

The first full-length from Young Fresh Fellows frontman (and sometime R.E.M. touring member) Scott McCaughey has just been re-released on his own label, with a few more tracks than it originally had.

I s'pose it's not for everybody. It has lyrics like:

When into the shop came Kafka
He was definitely back from the dead
"I need a butcher for my new parable
And you're the perfect one," he said

(from "Story") and I guess you either think that's clever and funny, or you find it annoying and pretentious. Me, I think the album is delightful through and through, from the nod to Thelonious Monk in the discordant piano intro to "Winter Goes Away" to the reprise of the impossibly Byrdsian "House of Four Doors" that closes the disc out. There's pure pop and noise pop and a drunken faux-country ballad or two in between. I wanna single out the monstrously catchy, if nonsensical (and somehow Guided By Voices-like) "Algerian Hook" and the way Amy Denio's saxophones drive "How Many Bones" and the slow building "No More Glory," washed in on Carla (from the very swell band the Walkabouts) Torgerson's chilly cello, and washed out on a wave of vinegary electric guitar frenzy. It's more eclectic than the average 'Fellows record, and i like it even better.

(Also see Mark Eitzel, Minus 5, et all 31 May 1997)

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