The Minus 5 - The Lonesome Death of Buck McCoy
Rating: 8.0

By Ryan Schreiber
Source: Pitchfork
The Minus Five are the best kept secret in indie rock. So why haven't you heard of them? Well, it's 'cause they're a secret, friend. These kids are just another one of those bands with the rotating line-up and the same frontman. The obvious difference being they rotate people you've heard of.

So, who's in this edition? Just indie rock visionaries like Robert Pollard, Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer, Chris Ballew, Mike McCready, and a few other people like them. Routinely fronted by Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck, The Minus Five manage to push out terrifically catchy 60s-influenced pop.

On songs like "Cross Every Line", "The Rest of the World" and "Wouldn't Want to Care", Buck's trademark Sound of Athens shines through, but other tracks like the McCaughey/Buck/Pollard co-write "Boeing Spacearium" (who do you think probably wrote the lyrics?) have a distinctly Minus Five sound to them. What's the Minus Five sound? It's like taking Wilco out back and smashing their balls with the tuning end of Roger McGuinn's electric guitar.

The Lonesome Death isn't as depressing as its title makes it out to be. In fact, the upbeat songs outnumber the ballads (though the band pulls off a harrowing rendition of John Lennon's "My Mummy's Dead"). But still, if you're gonna pick it up, listen to it with a friend. Wouldn't want you to do anything drastic.

-Ryan Schreiber, May, 1997