What are you talking about?
The Minus 5 came out with another new album this year?
Well actually they did, sorta. For those that are going to the Baseball Project/Minus 5/Steve Wynn IV shows, there is a cover CD that is being sold at the concession area containing 17 covers done by the Minus 5. This CD according to Scott is not going to be sold in stores, over the internet, at your local grocery store, etc., so unless you are at a show you will NOT be able to acquire this.
‘Butcher Covered’ feels equal parts ‘I Don’t Know Who I Am’ and ‘In Rock’; an eclectic mix of a few hits such as a deconstructed version of Lynyrd Skynrd’s ‘That Smell’, and some Minus 5 favorites including The Modern Lover’s ‘Government Center’. The CD offers a glimpse into some of the bands that have inspired Scott McCaughey and I would imagine Peter Buck over the years, a wide array of talents stretching all the way from the 60s till today.
As I write this brief review, one of the challenges has been to attempt to figure out what songs are actually on the CD. Due to a grand total of 0 liner notes, the song titles, performers, etc. are in many cases left up to the imagination of the listener. In some respects that is a good thing because the songs feel more than just a cover version but rather a Minus 5 original.
Getting the CD handed to you signed by Scott himself is almost as if he is providing a demo tape to you, a rough collection of songs for your listening pleasure.
Butcher Covered, is very much Jekyll and Hyde. The first half of the album starts off a very mellow experience ala The Minus 5 on morphine. Johnny Cash’s ‘I Still Miss Someone’ belongs in a Wim Wenders movie and Skynrd’s ‘That Smell’ does not sound like a southern rock anthem, but offers a slightly more depressed look, focusing on the harshness of the lyrics as well as slowing the tempo down a couple notches.
The second half of the album however, speeds up the pace a little bit. The John Lennon cover, ‘Power to the People’ is meant to be heard in front of thousands and from there the band launches into some of my favorites including a couple Kinks hits, ‘Get Back in Line’ and ‘Wicked Annabella’, reliving some of the familiar sounds of catchy 60s tunes before going into Punk overdrive with a Minus 5 favorite ‘Government Center’ and the MC5’s ‘High School’.
The Neil Young song “Revolution Blues” is an apt way to conclude this release. Young’s admiration by both McCaughey and Peter Buck would seem fitting to end the album on a perfect note.
At this point I still have not figured out all the tracks and actual artists to this CD but maybe that is the purpose in this Internet age. As we are handed everything on a silver platter, sometimes a little investigation provides bigger rewards in the long run. But most of all this feels just as much Minus 5 as anything else they have released.