The loose, low-pressure nature of auxiliary R.E.M. guitarist Scott McCaughey’s band has enabled it to last 22 years. Partially reworked, and selected from 2014’s Record Store Day vinyl box-set Scott The Hoople In The Dungeon Of Horror, this tenth album sees senior R.E.M. pro and Minus 5 regular Peter Buck delivering choice Byrdsian jangle, especially on In The Ground’s potent solo.
Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy offers equally characteristic, discordantly clanging beauty with his solo on The History You Hate, while the late Ian McLagan’s Hammond is most evident on Remain In Lifeboat. A couple of Decemberists chip in too.
But The Minus 5 remain a star-heavy Trojan horse for McCaughey’s songwriting. He’s facile with a variety of bright, rootsy styles, with affably careworn lyrics. My Generation, a solo, fuzzed-up anthem for 50-something indie-rockers not yet ‘ready to die’, typifies his likeable, lightweight m.o./o:p