Short and Sweet NYC

The Minus 5: Dungeon Golds

minus 5The Minus 5
Dungeon Golds
(Yep Roc Records)

The Minus 5 are one of the most eminently listenable, weird bands out there right now. With titles like “Zero Clowns” and “Chinese Saucer Magnolia,” it should come as no surprise that Robert Pollard has previously collaborated with the band. Like Pollard, mastermind Scott McCaughey marries often obscure metaphors with solid guitar rock to create some fun tunes.

The songs on Dungeon Golds are not new to fans of The Minus 5. They’ve all been selected from the limited edition, 5-LP box set Scott the Hoople in the Dungeon of Horror, released last year for Record Store Day. However, some of the tracks have received a makeover. Having not heard Hoople, I can’t comment on the differences, but Dungeon Golds is pretty spectacular.

Opener “My Generation” is immediately gripping. The title makes you think of The Who, but this is from the perspective of middle age and still rocking out. “It’s Magenta, Man!” has a healthy dose of psychedelic vibe to go along with the trippy title. “The Unforeseen” features some stunning slide guitar to add a Southern vibe to the defiant stance of the lyrics (“Just because I’m lost doesn’t mean a thing”). Dungeon Golds manages to pull in classic rock influences with some unusual imagery, and the result sounds like a solid record rather than cherry-picked titles from a larger collection.

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