Top critical review
on 22 July 2005
Let it be said that when "Your New Favorite Band" was first released, it was far too early for the Hives to have a "best of" album -- they only had EPs and two albums in the bag. But it is a good sampler of their best songs, and a good introduction to their rough, raw brand of garage punk.
"Your New Favorite Band" takes four tracks from their breakout album, "Veni Vidi Vicious," four from their debut predecessor "Barely Legal," and finally four from their EP work. These songs are almost undeniably the best of the batch, like the roaring "A.K.A I-D-I-O-T," "Mad Man" or "Main Offender."
What these songs all have in common is an adrenaline-powered rawness, and a fast-paced energy that most garage and/or punk bands try to achieve, but few do. Okay, they don't have the most original sound in the world. They have, instead, vibrancy and a lack of musical pretension -- they are influenced by bands like the Stooges, but they don't wear those on their sleeves.
The kinetic riffs give the group half their sound. Each song is a roiling mass of percussion, guitar and bass, endearingly nasty and very entertaining. Howlin' Pelle Almqvist provides the other -- he sounds like he's literally foaming at the mouth when he sings stuff like "Mad Man." He lives up to the "Howlin'" part of his name, definitely.
"Your New Favorite Band" serves as an effective "best of" album, although the band seemed too young to have enough for such an album. In a nutshell, it's a great way to revisit the best of these energetic Swedish rockers, or to introduce newbies to them.