The Hives’ first album in five years proves that the band hasn’t lost their touch. Lex Hives is full of classic Hives songs that are fast, fun, loud, and crazy. But what makes this album different from their others is that the band experiments with different sounds here. Rather than having one song that stands out from the others, there are several tracks that range in sound. Blues, soul, rockabilly, and of course punk influences are all found here. Though it doesn’t sound drastically different from their work in the past, it’s still an exciting album.
The album opens with the short, simple, exciting track “Come On.” Though the song is only about a minute long and only contains the phrase “come on” it’s a great song. It’s really fun and energetic. It’s a great opening track because it gets you pumped for the rest of the album. There really isn’t much more to this song other than it shows the band haven’t lost their energy. The next song “Go Right Ahead” sounds like a basic Hives song: crazy vocals, fast music, and catchy lyrics. The horns playing in the background are a nice touch to change up the sound. It’s also cool how the band tricks listeners by making them think the song is over before they repeat “go right ahead” one last time.
There are a lot of great songs here. This is easily an album you can put on without skipping a track. A stand out song is “I Want More.” It has a slow drunken riff that adds a nice groove to the song. The vocals here are slightly different. Pelle does this odd spoken word thing that really reminds me of how Anthony Keidis sings. It’s actually a really cool song and breaks up all the fast songs at this point. Another great track is “Patrolling Days.” It’s starts off like a lot of their other songs, fast and loud. But what makes the song great is the chorus. There’s something about it that really catches your attention. It sounds a bit darker than the rest of the song. It’s an awesome track.
As mentioned before, the band plays around with different sounds on this album. They’ve done it before on their past material, but they do it a lot more here. There’s even one song that is a total Beach Boys rip off. “Wait a Minute” will make you think of beaches, summer, and the 50’s as soon as it starts. Everything about this song screams the Beach Boys, but it doesn’t make the song bad. The song is actually pretty fun and catchy. It’s cool how the band does a totally different sound here. It takes you by surprise at first, but it’ll grow on you.
“Without the Money” is such a short song, but it’s probably the best on the album. It has a blues/soul feel from the slow, dirty riff that plays throughout to Pelle’s tortured vocals. There’s even an organ playing here and it really makes the song seem like a product of the psychedelic 60’s. It’s such a great song and it really makes you wish the song was longer. Another song that has the band changing their sound is “Midnight Shifter.”
The closing track has a 50’s dance hall feel, like it’s something you would hear on American Bandstand. It’s full of catchy lyrics, a booming brass section that makes you want to do the monkey, and a clapping rhythm that was standard in those songs back in the day. It even has a hint of rockabilly or early rock n roll due to the guitar playing. When Pelle sings “I know you gotta work hard/workin’ hard everyday” it makes you want to dance and sing along. It’s a really fun song that’ll put you in a good mood.
Overall, the album gets 8/10. While it does have all the staples of a classic Hives album, the band manages to keep the record fresh by having songs that have influences from different genres of music. All the songs are fun and catchy. This is an energetic album that is a great pick me up if you need to perk up your mood or if you just need to wake up a little bit. Lex Hives proves that the band hasn’t lost their talent during their five year absence.