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The Minus 5 

Untitled (Yep Roc)

After 11 years leading the Young Fresh Fellows and another dozen putting out Minus 5 CDs with assorted all-star rosters, Scott McCaughey pretends he's finally "All Worn Out," opening the so-called Gun Album (for the firearms on the cover and spine) by declaring "this rifle called Goodbye is all I can shoulder anymore," and ending it 13 unlucky tracks later by declaring "How tired my soul is tired." But of course this self-professed "asshole" is so jaded that he doesn't expect you'll believe a word of it.

In the end, the down-and-out theme just provides another excuse to gather with old college-radio pals and Pacific Northwest neighbors, tossing off hymns to cynicism in the form of upbeat rockers, pretty country ballads, and most of all shameless acts of devotion to John Lennon. The roster ranges from longtime collaborator Pete Buck to members of the Decemberists and Harvey Danger, but the disc amounts to nothing more than tired old point-and-shoot indie pop, landing a few bull's-eyes (anything with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy in tow) and a few wild misses (the pointless "Hotel Senator"), with no one caring a whit how truly lethal they could be with focus.

More by Franklin Soults


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