This EP is frustratingly short, but it contains some of Scott McCaughey's best songs since the glory days of the Young Fresh Fellows, particularly "Lyrical Stance" and the simply great "The Film of the Movie."
This collection of stray tracks from Scott McCaughey and his various permutations of the Minus 5 — five of which were recorded during sessions for the Down With Wilco album, with various members of Jeff Tweedy’s stellar ensemble backing up Scott, with Peter Buck and Rebecca Gates also dropping by the studio — is the sort of release that’s useful to fans and of dubious value for newcomers. Though plenty of folks who haven’t heard McCaughey would be charmed by the great songs on deck, not to mention the fine performances that hit a solid balance between skill and easygoing playfulness, at only seven songs this is the sort of EP that just gets up to full speed when the curtain comes down for the noisy goof of “One More Bottle to Go.” What’s here is certainly fine stuff, but “I’ve Got a Lyrical Stance,” “Hotel Senator,” and “The Town That Lost Its Groove Supply” are good enough that they should be anchoring an album, not adding bulk to a seven-cut throwaway. In short, if you’re a fan you’ll certainly enjoy this, but otherwise you might want to check out Down With Wilco or In Rock instead — not that this won’t make you want to hear more. Added value: this EP also includes a Quicktime video for “The Town That Lost Its Groove Supply,” and the version of “The Days of Wine and Booze” here is the one McCaughey and Wilco cut on September 11, 2001. – Mark Deming