The Minus 5 - Killingsworth
Scott McCaughey has been a busy boy. Not only is he releasing an album with his main band Young Fresh Fellows on July 7th, but the same day he will be releasing the new album from his side project The Minus 5.
The new Minus 5 album, Killingsworth, sees McCaughey reunited with project mainstays Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and John Moen (The Decemberists). In fact, pretty much all the Decemberists drop by to pitch in on the record.
Killingsworth is the typical twangy fare The Minus 5 have served up in the past. Songs like the melodic "The Long Hall", barn dancer "Ambulance Dancehall", and banjo plucker "I Would Rather Sacrifice You" are right in the group's wheelhouse.
What is new is an increased appearance of backing vocals. The She Bee Gees provide backing and/or complementing vocals on most of the tracks, sounding on songs like "The Lurking Barrister" as a twangy country version of The Supremes.
The hallmark of The Minus 5 has always been witty lyrics which feature a healthy sense of humour. A quick glance at titles like "Tonight You're Buying Me a Drink, Bub" and "Scott Walker's Fault" should be enough to tell you that fact hasn't changed. That's reinforced a few lines into the first verse of "Dark Hand of Contagion" as McCaughey sings 'Your wedding day was so well planned, like a German invasion' over a gently weeping guitar.
There is definitely some filler on the record. "It Won't Do You Any Good" and "Big Beat Up Moon" don't add much of anything to the album and drag it out just beyond the point of complete enjoyability.
The vast majority of Killingsworth is catchy, amusing alt. country. So why not kick back and enjoy.
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