Under Review: Young Fresh Fellows – I Think This Is

Scott McCaughey is a busy guy. Between working with R.E.M. for the better part of the past few decades, he has been the leader of two terrific pop groups: The Minus 5 and Young Fresh Fellows. Where The Minus 5 has always been the more mature, country-tinged sibling, Young Fresh Fellows is the fast, loud, power pop upstart. Though Young Fresh Fellows albums have dwindled in frequency as The Minus 5 consumed more and more of McCaughey’s time, the recent release of I Think This Is marks a grand return for these fun-loving goofballs. The album is full of the short blasts of pop punk (not in the crappy ‘mall punk’ sense, but in the Buzzcocks sense), with silly lyrics ranging from owning a Mexican restaurant to a Village Green-esque pining for the good old days of lamp industries. Wordplay is a major part of the Fellows’ style, and songs like “Betty Let The Good Times Crawl” and “New Day I Hate” bring a worldly yet winking eye to observational pop. The album was produced by Robyn Hitchcock, who rarely produces records outside of his own, but seeing as how most of the Minus 5 is Hitchcock’s own backing band (The Venus 3, not The Egyptians), the pairing is only fitting. The album clocks in at just over half an hour, and the disc’s brevity is just another indication of what kind of band Young Fresh Fellows are: a people’s band. They might not make records very often anymore, but when they do, the Fellows make one hell of a great brand of music. Of course, The Minus 5 have a new album out as well, but that’s another review.

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~ by E. on July 29, 2009.

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