MINUS 5 – Stroke Manor

Album: Stroke Manor

Artist: Minus 5

Label: Yep Roc

Release Date: June 14, 2019

www.yeproc.com

BY LEE ZIMMERMAN

It’s always a welcome return when the power pop super group The Minus 5 adds a new album to their catalog, and Stroke Manor is no exception. After all, any time Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck, Jeff Tweedy, Corrin Tucker, Steve Wynn and the other musicians that tend to drift in and out of  this sprawling conglomerate manage to take time from their busy schedules to coalesce, it’s bund to be intriguing.

However, like Filthy Friends, another muso mash-up, part of whose membership overlaps The Minus 5’s, the end results don’t always equal the sum of its parts. Many of the numbers are awash in discordant melodies and a subversive undertow, giving it a grungy feel overall. There are exceptions however — the upbeat “My Collection,” presumably a song celebrating one’s musical library, the effusive “Bleach Boys & Beach Girls,” a song Mike Love might be wise to consider and the surging “Message of Mother” measure up to the best of the band’s earlier catalog.

Still, for all the gaps that fall in-between, Stroke Manor remains a wise investment. the songs tend to coalesce over time and any collector of the core members’ individual offerings would be remiss to ignore this. Stroke Manor strikes a few interesting notes, and for that reason alone, it give the Minus 5 a solid plus.

DOWNLOAD: “My Collection,” “Bleach Boys & Beach Girls,” “Message of Mother”

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