The Hives – Your New Favourite Band (2002)
From what I gather, Greatest Hits Compilations are ineligible for inclusion on the 1001 Albums list.
This one wasn’t explicitly a “Greatest Hits” but it is very much a compilation. The 12 tracks had all been previously released, collected from prior studio albums & an EP.
I suppose if live albums are permitted (even a Dylan bootleg) among the 1001, maybe it’s a gray area. Or maybe Your New Favourite Band just flew under the radar of the editors.
Either way, I’m glad it made the cut as it’s an energetic, economic listen. With a dozen tunes in less than half an hour, there are no meandering song structures in sight!
I tend to get along with people that are self-effacing but sometimes a bit of brashness is alright too. From the less than modest title, Your New Favourite Band, to the acknowledged motivation for repackaging & re-releasing the tunes (mainstream success), for some reason neither makes them less appealing.
Then there’s the songwriting credit: Randy Fitzsimmons. Who is Randy? According to the band, he’s the honorary sixth Hive that discovered the band. Not only does he write ALL the songs but he also finds time to manage the band. At first I thought it was gimmicky but now that they’ve been sticking to the story for a couple of decades, I have to applaud the determination!
Songwriting/talent scout/managerial guru Randy may be; however he does not have the best name of the group. My personal favourites: singer Howlin’ Pete Almqvist and moustachioed bassist Dr. Matt Destruction.
Like guitar solos? Won’t find ’em here, this is a rhythm guitarist’s dream. Much like their “The” contemporaries (The White Stripes, The Strokes, The Vines), the songs are not terribly difficult to play. That’s also the charm here – play it fast, play it loud, make it fun. Hate to Say I Told You So has the great voice crack on the line, “Now it’s all out and you knew,” and that sloppiness only enhances the track. My current ranking of the “The” groups:
1. The Vines – the best songwriting, songs always trump style/image for me
2. The Strokes – probably the catchiest melodies
3. The Hives – highest energy
4. The White Stripes – Jack White is likely the strongest musician of the bunch
Benefactors of good timing? Absolutely. Garage Rock was en vogue in the early 2000s and these 5 Swedish lads made the most of it. By all accounts, they’re a strong live act and I’d be interested in hearing a lot of these tunes in person.