The Hives are in your face like the school bully. You will find them waiting for you around the corner, standing by your locker and pounding hand in fist glaring from across the cafeteria. They are going to push you down, knock your books from your hands and call you names. And you are gonna take it and you are gonna like it.
These Swedish punks have all the attitude and hardened anger of The Godfathers, the swagger of the Stones and the energetic rhythms of the Stooges. These Viking descendents rock hard.
The Hives sound is derived from the punishing drums of Chris Dangerous, abusive guitar spankings from Viglante Carlstroem and Nicholaus Arson, the occasionally tight, but often sloppy grooves of bassist Dr Matt Destruction and the half-singing, half-screaming vocals of Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist. This all adds up to bowel-clinching tremors of dangerous punk rock explosive fun!!!
A revitalization of the late 70’s and early 80’s punk scene has forced it’s way into the next millennium with a new breed of bands like The White Stripes, The Strokes and The Hives. They are all welcome additions and couldn’t have come soon enough. Rock was beginning to die a sad and painful death with a dearth of good music. A person can only tolerate so much earnest and emotive faux rock groups like Incubus, Creed and Staind.
The Hives show off their young bravado on their sophomore LP, Veni Vidi Vicious. Just like the Sex Pistols, these boys from across the pond are exploiting their own ability to annoy. Pelle boldly announces just this on “Main Offender:”
Im on my way, cant settle down/Stuck in ways of being an ass and Ive got a lot of nerve that Im ready to pass/Im on my way, cant settle down/Stuck in ways of sadistic joy and my talent only goes as far as to annoy/THIS IS MY MAIN OFFENDER. THIS IS WHAT IVE GOT AND ITS GOT ME SAYING – WHY ME!
They are punk ass bitches and they are proud of it. The big hit single, “Hate To Say I Told You So,” is more of the same fun:
Do what I want cause I can and if I don’t – because I wanna be ignored by the stiff and the bored – because I’m Gonna/Spit and retrieve cause I give and recieve – because I wanna gonna get through your head what the mystery man said – because I’m gonna/Hate to say I told you so/I do believe I told you so.
As if to throw you off of their scent, the Hives slip in a groovy-sweet melody reminiscent of a Rascal’s number, “Find Another Girl” which tells the sad but universal tale of heartbreak:
The very first time I fell in love got my heart broken then people would say when I passed their way/”Theres a hot young man going there going there An unhappy lad going there./Well one day my mother called me to here side said son “why you so blue”/”Mother I lost the girl that I love why wont you tell me what to do”/Mother wont you tell me what to do?
I am gonna play the Hives loud, I’m gonna be proud, BECAUSE I WANNA.