First Appeared in The Music Box, August 2004, Volume 11, #8
Written by John Metzger
In 2002, The Hives issued a retrospective collection titled Your New Favourite Band, which culled tracks from its EP A.K.A. I-D-I-O-T as well as its initial pair of full-length albums (Barely Legal and Veni Vidi Vicious). Although the band predated artists such as The White Stripes and The Strokes that stood at the forefront of the garage-rock revival, the move allowed the Swedish ensemble to capitalize upon the burgeoning scene and propel itself to greater recognition and acclaim than it might have garnered on its own accord. Indeed, unlike its American counterparts, The Hives has made few, if any, concessions to commercial forces, meaning its raggedly rugged songs sound less contrived and more battered, bruised, and raw, despite the pop-fueled hooks that linger beneath its thunderous sound. Its latest endeavor Tyrannosaurus Hives continues the groupís irascibly uncompromising assault as frothing front man Pelle Almqvist snarls his way through 12 tracks in barely 30 minutes. Behind him, guitars savagely buzz, whir, stutter, and stir over a volley of rambunctious drums and bass, creating a rapaciously unforgiving, amphetamine-soaked fury that threatens to spin off its axis at any given moment. Each song hits sharply and swiftly as the band rifles through its influences ó The Kinks, The Who, The Stooges, The Clash, early XTC, and Janeís Addiction, to name a few ó with a seemingly reckless, but undoubtedly deliberate effort to find the melodic dissonance within its mighty maelstrom. As a result, The Hivesí wildly flailing exuberance is immediately brash and bold, and the urgency of its delivery is strangely cathartic ó even if its sound isnít entirely new. Ĺ
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box