The Hives’ Tyrannosaurus Hives comes out today and it rocks the rectum. I talk about the band, the record and their place in the latest rock ‘n’ roll revival on MSNBC.com:
- Rock ‘n’ roll gets back to basics:
Little bands like the Hives at center of genre’s latest resurgence
Rock ‘n’ roll, real rock ‘n’ roll — loud wild rhythmic music, ultimately derived from the holy pairing of black blues and white C&W in the ’50s, with dancing and screaming and guitars and strippers and human sacrifice … oh wait, I’m getting off track — is on about its fifth resurrection. The first sprang forth in dark clubs and lonely garages from Liverpool, England, to Hawthorne, Calif., less than a decade after the music’s original invention, and the most famous revival centered around the punk revolution of the ‘70s.
We are in the middle of yet another rock ‘n’ roll resurgence: simple (but not simplistic) music stripped down to the elemental essentials of guitar, bass, drums, vocals and attitude (the White Stripes have even stripped out the bass); bands with short, slightly anachronistic names like the White Stripes, the Strokes and the Hives.
The Hives are the dark horse that may end up at the head of the pack. Some bands want to be the cure, others the disease — the Hives very specifically chose the latter when they formed, barely in their teens, 11 years ago in remote Fagersta, Sweden. The band’s fairy tale rise from the sylvan hinterlands of Scandinavia to international dominance should be entering the completion phase with Tuesday’s release of their third album, “Tyrannosaurus Hives,” an ebullient neo-retro rock ‘n’ roll hyper-drive triumph, and a whirlwind tour of North America, Japan, and Europe to support it.
“We wanted to be really annoying punks and we thought a disease name would fit that,” says Hives rhythm guitarist Mike “Vigilante” Carlstroem, speaking brightly of their formative days in excellent if heavily accented English. The lilting, musical accent is momentarily disorienting: like talking punk rock with the Swedish Chef.
“We didn’t really know what ‘hives’ meant,” continues Carlstroem, “other than some kind of rash.” But the fledgling band — Carlstroem, bassist Matt Destruction, drummer Chris Dangerous, lead guitarist Nicholaus Arson (Almqvist) and his brother, singer Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist — very much liked the idea of being itchy, irritating and forcing a reaction, which they most certainly did, playing fast short aggressive songs in an era of meandering self-pitying grunge, dressing uniformly in sharp black and white suits when slacker sloppy was the fashion.
A vision and a plan
Although the reaction achieved was often hostile, the intrepid young rockers had a vision and a plan, and led by the invisible guiding hand of one “Randy Fitzsimmons” (the band’s quite possibly mythical songwriter, guru and sixth member), the crowds at their shows grew from 20 to 200 and eventually beyond when their second (and breakthrough) album “Veni Vidi Vicious” spread like a skin condition across Europe, the U.K., and finally America between 2000 and 2002.
After taking a breather from nearly incessant touring to recoup, record and recreate (Carlstroem has a two-month old son), the Hives are back — the new record is preceded by a very heavy and well deserved buzz.
“Tyrranosaurus Hives” continues in the same general vein of rocket-powered garage rock the band worked to exemplary effect on “Veni Vidi Vicious,” but this time the retro-riffs are mined from a broader base than early-‘70s Stooges, NY Dolls, and Dr. Feelgood. This time the Hives went after the “machine-like precision of Devo and Kraftwerk,” according to Carlstroem, which may sound oxymoronic from a quintet of garage punks until one hears the thrilling result….
Please click over for the rest of the story: a review of the album and a discussion of the White Stripes and the Strokes as well.
More Hives news: The Hives will be swinging by Fuse’s Daily Download Studio’s today to chat about their new record and their upcoming tour which will kick off tomorrow in D.C. The guys from the new movie Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle are going to be on to “help interview the Hives.”
Tune in to watch to show live at 6PM ET/ 3 PM PT and listen for the Daily Download “word.” When they tell you the magic “word,” click over, put the “word” in the magic “box” and if you are among the first 1,000 fans to click over, you can download “Walk Idiot Walk” for free.
You can check out the video for “Walk Idiot Walk” with their player here.