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The Hives – Your New Favourite Band (2002)

November 26, 2013

[Album 264/1001]220px-Favouritehives

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.

180px-DMDPortrait_LexHives

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.

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From → 2000s

4 Comments
  1. Once again, syncronicity! I just had that one Record Store Tale involving the Hives’ “Walk Idiot Walk” a couple weeks ago!

    I do not have this, but I do like the one Hives album that I own a lot. I love a good guitar solo, but these guys are so tight, it’s a pleasure just to listen to the playing as-is.

    Randy Fitzsimmons reminds me conceptually of Sleazy P. Martini, the “manager” of Gwar.

    • Hopefully that’s a case of Great minds thinking alike, as opposed to fools seldom differing!

      There are some solid nice cut-outs on this record, the band pulling off crisply making room for a howlin’ scream.

      I hadn’t realized Gwar had a mythical “manager” as well – I’ve started to enjoy those sleeve credits. The other one that comes to mind for me is on The Smiths’ Bigmouth Strikes Again, backing vocals by Anne Coates. Turns out it’s just Morrissey’s vocal track altered to be a higher pitch!

      • Hah! No kidding. I love little riddles like that.

        Catherine Wheel also had a weird manager thing. Under the band credits they always listed Merck Mercuriadis with the band, even though his instrument was “manager”! Merck also co-managed Iron Maiden for a while.

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