In Rock

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Initially conceived as an in-joke/vanity project intended for the nearest and dearest of Scott McCaughey and company, this four-year-old offering -- augmented by a passel of newly recorded tunes -- finally receives a long-overdue airing before a wider public. In Rock keeps at least one appendage in each of the territories the Minus 5 have been known to traverse over the years, kicking out the garage-rock jams forcefully in the Standells-styled "Lies of the Living Dead" and foraging more gently in the realm of British Invasion pop on the impeccably catchy "Girl I Never Met." There's a good deal of self-awareness and self-deprecation tucked into the grooves of songs like...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Initially conceived as an in-joke/vanity project intended for the nearest and dearest of Scott McCaughey and company, this four-year-old offering -- augmented by a passel of newly recorded tunes -- finally receives a long-overdue airing before a wider public. In Rock keeps at least one appendage in each of the territories the Minus 5 have been known to traverse over the years, kicking out the garage-rock jams forcefully in the Standells-styled "Lies of the Living Dead" and foraging more gently in the realm of British Invasion pop on the impeccably catchy "Girl I Never Met." There's a good deal of self-awareness and self-deprecation tucked into the grooves of songs like the deceptively bouncy "Courage Is the Smallest Bird" and "Dear My Inspiration," on which McCaughey reaches fever pitch in letting his muse know just how important she is. Unlike a lot of their smart-aleck peers, however, the Fab Five never put the in-joke ahead of simple enjoyment -- which means that you can get plenty of kick out of "The Night Chicago Died Again" without bothering to read the footnotes. Guaranteed to encourage a good time all the time.
All Music Guide - Mark Deming
No one knows just what would happen if Scott McCaughey happened to have a few weeks to himself with nothing to do musically, largely because he seems determined to prevent that from ever happening. An example: in January 2000, while McCaughey was waiting out the delays that postponed the release of the Minus 5/Young Fresh Fellows split album Let the War Against Music Begin, he got word that the much-loved Chicago venue Lounge Ax was going to close, and he joined the parade of artists who took to their stage during the club's final weeks. Since the "real" Minus 5 lineup couldn't make the trip, McCaughey persuaded his pals in Wilco to back him up, and on-stage they plowed through a set of new songs he wrote for the occasion without a single rehearsal. Following this baptism of fire, McCaughey decided the tunes merited another chance with the more traditional Minus 5 lineup, and so on March 13, 2000, he rolled into a recording studio with Peter Buck, John Ramberg, and Bill Rieflin, and bashed ten of his Lounge Ax tunes onto tape. McCaughey called the results In Rock, and a limited edition of 1,000 copies were sold at Minus 5 gigs over the next few months. Fast-forward to the fall of 2003: in yet another moment that demanded to be filled, McCaughey decided the album deserved a broader audience than record collector geeks who were scrambling for the now-rare disc, and after clipping off two tunes he added four more recorded with the help of his longtime collaborator Kurt Bloch and handed the new and improved version of In Rock to the good people at Yep Roc for widespread dissemination. And for a project put together in the amount of time a negligent freshman puts into a term paper, In Rock sounds pretty darned satisfying; McCaughey has been writing smart, funny, and full-bodied pop
ock tunes since 1984, and In Rock makes it clear he's only gotten better at it with the passage of time, and the various assemblages of friends and acquaintances who help make 'em fly on this album take his life's mission as gloriously unseriously as he does. If not quite a single-day masterpiece in the manner of White Light/White Heat or Please Please Me, the Minus 5's In Rock makes a real virtue of its casual incubation period, and manages to be both tight and loose just when it needs to be.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/24/2004
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
  • UPC: 634457206427
  • Catalog Number: 2064
  • Sales rank: 114,905

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Minus 5 Primary Artist
John Wesley Harding Musician
Scott McCaughey Group Member
Kurt Bloch Musician
Peter Buck Group Member
Bill Rieflin Group Member
Chris Ballew Musician
John Ramberg Group Member
Ben Gibbard Musician
Technical Credits
Scott McCaughey Composer, Liner Notes
Kurt Bloch Engineer
Peter Buck Composer
Bill Rieflin Composer
Martin Feveyear Engineer
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