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Because We Hate You / Let War Against Music Begin

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 27, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Scott McCaughey's two bands here deliver a bargain package of a full-length CD each. Given their enjoyably shambling live shows, the Minus 5 are hardly the first outfit you'd expect to turn in an album as magnificently crafted as Let the War Against Music Begin. McCaughey and a cast including Peter Buck, Posies Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer, and Robyn Hitchcock render perfectly wistful widescreen pop loaded with direct lyrics, loving vocal harmonies, vintage electronic-keyboard sounds, and a Spector-esque propulsion. A winner that recalls and betters McCaughey's beloved Beach Boys discs So Tough and Holland, its counterpart finds the Young Fresh Fellows returning to the studio for the first time in several years. Unsurprisingly more haphazard than the Minus 5 record, Because We Hate You nonetheless has its share of lyrical moments ("Worthless," "Summerland") mixed in with the gleeful dork-rock mini-epic "My Drum Set," an amped-up cover of Boyce & Hart's "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonite," and the speaks-for-itself "Mamie Dunn, Employee of the Month." --Rickey Wright

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Great News Around You - The Minus 5
  2. Got You - The Minus 5
  3. Ghost Tarts Of Stockholm - The Minus 5
  4. The Rifleman - The Minus 5
  5. You Don't Mean It - The Minus 5
  6. A Thousand Years Away - The Minus 5
  7. The Amazing Dolphin Boy - The Minus 5
  8. Thirsty Bird - The Minus 5
  9. One Bar At A Time - The Minus 5
  10. John Barleycorn Must Live - The Minus 5
  11. Desperate For Someone - The Minus 5
  12. Your Day Will Come (Parts 1&2) - The Minus 5

Disc: 2

  1. Barky's Spiritual Store - The Young Fresh Fellows
  2. Lonely Spartanburg Flower Stall - The Young Fresh Fellows
  3. I Wonder What She's Doing Tonite - The Young Fresh Fellows
  4. For The Love Of A Girl - The Young Fresh Fellows
  5. Fuselage - The Young Fresh Fellows
  6. My Drum Set - The Young Fresh Fellows
  7. Worthless - The Young Fresh Fellows
  8. She's A Book - The Young Fresh Fellows
  9. Good Times Rock 'N' Roll - The Young Fresh Fellows
  10. Little Bell - The Young Fresh Fellows
  11. Summerland - The Young Fresh Fellows
  12. Mamie Dunn, Employee Of The Month - The Young Fresh Fellows
  13. Your Truth, Our Lies - The Young Fresh Fellows
  14. The Ballad Of Only You And The Can Prevent Forest Fires - The Young Fresh Fellows

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 27, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Hollywood Records
  • ASIN: B000059RVX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,039 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Finally, after years of waiting, Young Fresh Fellows fans get another helping of tasty morsels. But what's special about this package is it includes a second disc of frontman Scott McCaughey side band (or is it now his primary band?) The Minus Five. So we need to have two reviews of this molecular infusion of music to give a proper perspective on just how good this collections to ditties really is. Because We Hate You is the Fellow's champ in the corner and packs the kind of punch that doesn't sting until possibly the morning after when you wake up all black and blue. Like a good poem, it brings more meaning each time you listen to it. The infection grows and you're hooked, needing an swift kick in the pants, if you are to have any hope to stop grooving. Instant hits are For The Love of a Girl, I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight, Fuselage, and Little Bell. Any of these songs would be appropriate for radio play should the general public regain some sense of fine music taste again and get off the boy band kick. Other songs require some sense of humor and if you have been following the Fellows for any length of time you should get the jokes with relative ease. A fine time indeed!
But wait.. there's even more! The Minus Five featuring Scotty McOi (that's Scott MaCaughy to you smart guy), Ken Stringfellow of the once defunct, now resurrected, band The Posies, some guest vibes from Robyn Hitchcock, who performs well in storefronts, and some new guy on the scene, Peter Buck from some band called REM. Your first thoughts might very well be Pet Sounds when the vibrations of the notes hits your ears, and you'd be correct in thinking so. Great News Around You is a wonderful song, full of rich melodies, and great instrumentation.
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Format: Audio CD
I picked up this CD after hearing a brief review of it on NPR. I wasn't expecting much, but I was completely blown away. The two CD concept is quite clever, and each album has some really great tunes. Most of the lyrics are too smart for mainstream radio these days, but the combination of wit and excellent melody lines make this set a steal.
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Format: Audio CD
Scott McCaughey fans are like Jonathan Richman fans: they think their fave's mediocre stuff is more enjoyable than 95% of the music out there. There's a lot to like on both discs of this release, but it pales in comparison to Young Fresh Fellows '80s output. Still, "Ghost Tarts of Stockholm" is better than anything released in last year, and the Fellows do their best Sex Pistols imitation on "Your Truth (Our Lies)" or something like that. Truth be told, this is a must for old Fellows fans but really only a 2+1/2 star album at most. Just make sure you get all the old YFF first: Fabulous Sounds of the Pacific Northwest, Topsy Turvy, The Men Who Loved Music and This One's For The Ladies are among the greatest rock and roll records ever made. Better yet, catch these guys on tour (check the Mammoth records site - ? - for details) - I saw them on a triple bill (Young Fresh Fellows/Minus 5/Fastbacks, Mike Mills joined in so most of REM was there, too!) three nights ago and even though most of these musicians are now 40-somethings, they still rock harder and better than ANY band on the planet. "In Dennis's room with the black and white, we know it's gonna' be another long night, they're taking the earthlings for fools, we say: 'Godzilla's been attacked by the killer shrews', and someday, oh someday, it's all to be so easy for me."
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Format: Audio CD
Scott McCaughey's two bands have put together a double disc of fun, catchy pop/rock songs.

The Minus 5 Disc ("Let the War Against Music Begin") opens with "Great News Around You," which sounds as if it were taken straight out of the Beach Boy's classic "Pet Sounds." "Got You" is another catchy number with a darker meaning behind what initially seems to be bright lyrics. Other highlights include, "You Don't Mean It", "1000 Years Away" and "One Bar At a Time."

For their turn at bat, the Fellows put out an album's worth of tunes not all that far removed from the Minus 5 disc, but a little more amped up. Some favorites include the insanely catchy cover of Boyce & Hart's "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight," the equally infectious "For the Love of a Girl", the dorky but lovable "My Drumset" and "Good Times Rock N Roll." And if that isn't enough to make you buy the album, they throw in a song devoted to a Krispy Kreme waitress.

Both discs feature a number of songs that could appear comfortably on the other, but both also retain their own spirit and unique feel. What really holds them together is the fact that both feature the powerful song writing of Scott McCaughey. This guy has been making music for many years now, and he knows what he's doing. Some musicians churn out a bunch of great songs early in their career only to burn out and release second rate garbage in their middle to late career. Scott McCaughey isn't one of those musicians. He keeps trying new things, but rest assured anything the man touches turns to gold. If some long-time fans of the Fellows are disappointed by this offering, it is probably due to the fact that it is different than McCaughey's early work. And making different music is a bit of a mixed blessing.
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