Quintessential Songs of the ’00s: #9 “Hate to Say I Told You So”

It was early 2002 and the “The” bands (The White Stripes, The Strokes, etc.) were taking the U.S. by storm. This track from The Hives was actually first released in late 2000 and re-released about a year and a half later.

From the song’s wiki page:

In March 2005, Q magazine placed it at number 54 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. The chord structure bears a strong similarity to The Kinks “All Day and All of the Night”. It also lists at 244 on Pitchfork Media’s Top 500 songs of the 2000s.

The song peaked at #86 on the Hot 100 and #6 on Billboard’s Modern Rock chart, and is known for its opening riff.

More Quintessential Songs of the ’00s.


Mutemath: Armistice

RIYL: Power Station, Wire Train, Gomez

When the members of New Orleans-based rock band Mutemath were beating their heads against the wall with the new material they had written as the follow-up to their stellar 2006 debut, the band almost broke up. The songs just were missing something, and they all knew it. Instead of channeling their energy into a bitter divorce, though, Mutemath enlisted the help of producer Dennis Herring (Modest Mouse, The Hives, Elvis Costello), who told them to start over again and write some new stuff. They did, but they did so with an angry passion they lacked before the near-breakup, and the result is a powerful set of new tunes called Armistice. Singer Paul Meany may be one of the best rock vocalists you know nothing about, but that should hopefully change with this groundbreaking album. Right from the start with “The Nerve,” Meany and his band mates symbolically pay tribute to their own rebirth, with the gang vocal chorus shouting, “Set it on fire!” The layers of guitars and strings, slapping bass and tasty drums all mesh well with Meany’s vocals in a way few bands manage to these days. But just like the band’s debut, Armistice has twists and turns and variations in style and texture – especially on the electro-funk of “Backfire” or the title track to the alt-pop beauty of “Pins and Needles” or “Goodbye” to the Goo Goo Dolls-ish “Lost Year.” Whether or not the band does feel like it lost a year, they sure did gain back their self-respect and have delivered one of the best rock records of the year. (Warner Brothers 2009)

Mutemath MySpace page


We got the Hives, and we’re gonna share them

The Hives took a circuitous route to fame, recording a couple albums and EPs in the 1990s and getting the greatest hits packaged all together in one magic hit CD, Your New Favourite Band, a couple years ago. Last year the Swedish punks came back with the all-new Tyrannosaurus Hives, a clean, punchy set that clears the sinuses of music fans who’ve just about had it up to here with wussy stuff from the likes of Dave Matthews and Sheryl Crow. The band’s new concert DVD “Tussles in Brussels,” released in time for the Christmas shopping season, gets the Hives phenomenon down for the record: The hard licks, the black-and-white outfits the band wears, and of course, the singular sound of lead vocalist Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist, with whom we sat down for the following chat:

Bullz-Eye: Describe a Hives concert for those in our reading audience who haven’t been.

Pelle Almqvist: If you’ve been to a rock concert–I’ll assume that much–if you take what you’ve seen there and multiply it by ten, that’s pretty much it. It’s like a rock concert except there’s more of everything else. Except color, because we’re dressed in black and white. It’s a bid louder, more intense, a bit more energetic. The only thing it isn’t a bit more of is…calmer.

BE: I’m sure you’ve been asked this about 5,000 times, but here’s 5,001: why do you dress that way, anyway?

PA: It looks good, but also, we’re convinced it makes us sound better. Like some hippie bands had some statues on their amps and stuff because it made them sound better? This makes us sound better. The treble’s a bit clearer.

BE: I’ve been listening to your stuff for a couple years now….but describe your music for those who haven’t heard it.

PA: Well, it’s rock music, that’s what it is, I’ll tell you that much. Very very very energetic rock music. If you like the classic values of rock – first it has to be entertaining and exciting, and after that you can do different things with it – it’s fast and loud and fun.

BE: Does the DVD cover one show or a series of shows?

PA: We just recorded one show and we had to just trust that we’d be good enough to put it out, otherwise we’d have to record another show. It’s one show straight through, not edited. It turned out really well. We spent a lot of time cutting between cameras and making sure the sound was as good as it could be.

BE: What do you remember about the gig?

PA: I was going into the crowd and this guy was pulling on my leg and I fell and did a jump and I landed with my shins on the barrier. I think you can maybe see where it happens. My leg was bleeding and swelling up halfway through the show, and I keep getting stiffer and stiffer. But the good thing is that I was wearing black pants, so you can’t see the blood.

To read the read of the interview, click here.


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