Since The Hives will be releasing their fifth album one June 4, let’s take a look at their third album. This was released when the band was becoming more well known in America. It has all the signatures of a Hives song: fast guitars, wild vocals, and tons of energy. But even though the songs are catchy, there’s nothing amazing or new to find here. Still, it’s a fun album from a crazy band.
The Hives are notorious for their insane energy and that’s what you get from start to finish. If you have trouble getting up in the morning, screw alarm clocks. Just put on any album by this band on full volume and bam! No more sleeping for you! The opener “Abra Cadaver” is a short and fast burst of energy filled with jangly music and wild vocals. Since the singing is so fast, all the lyrics run together, which makes it difficult to understand what’s going on, but it doesn’t matter because you’ll love it anyway.
The speed freakout continues with the tracks “Two-timing Touch and Broken Bones” and “No Pun Intended.” Both of these songs follow the same format: both have wild vocals provided by Howlin’ Pelle, fast guitars and catchy lyrics. In fact, most of the songs follow this format, which is the down fall of this album. While all the songs are fun and entertaining, ultimately they begin to sound the same. The music is similar, the style of singing is pretty much the same, and even though the guitar playing is awesome, it still has the same sound. The saving grace of this album is the songs aren’t very long, so it doesn’t feel like you’re stuck listening to the same three songs for an hour and a half.
The one song that separates itself from the others is the odd track “Diabolical Scheme.” It starts out with really weird music that sounds like a lot of noise. When the noise clears away, you hear horn and string instruments providing the melody. This is already really weird for the band and it kind of turns you off when you first hear it. While the instruments give the song an odd Jazz/old timey blues feeling, there are still the wild, punk rock vocals to assure you you’re still listening to The Hives. Just when you’re getting used to the song, a jarring surf rock guitar solo interrupts the song. At first, it doesn’t seem like it fits in at all, but when your ears get used to it you see how it works. The song may throw you off at first, but it’ll grow on you.
One song to definitely check out is “Dead Quote Olympics.” It begins with a cool, hard and fast drumbeat to get the song going. From there on it follows the same Hives format: fast guitars and energetic singing. What makes this song different is it shows off the band’s wit. This is a smart ass response to all those college kids who find quotes from old books and keep repeating them to sound smart. It’s a fun song that will make you laugh and smile.
Since the music is fast, loud and wild, it definitely has a punk rock feeling. Add Pelle’s insane vocals on top of it and this feeling comes full circle. The music also has a raw feel to it, which makes you think of the wild tone of garage rock. Even though the music is mainly inspired by punk rock, at times it sounds like classic rock of the 60’s and 70’s. This sound is mainly due to the upbeat and simplistic guitar playing. Sometimes it sounds like straight up rock and roll, other times it’s reminiscent of surf rock. No matter what style of music The Hives are inspired by, it’ll still get you on your feet.
Overall, the album gets 7.5/10. This is a fun album with energetic songs sure to make you get up and mosh around. Even though all the songs are awesome and catchy as hell, they begin to sound the same after the third track. This really brings the album down, but it’s not so bad since the tracks are only about a minute long. This is a quick album that is sure to wake you up or get you out of any slump.