Review: The Hives – Lex Hives
Published on June 15th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Aren’t The Hives fun? I mean, aren’t they just such dumb, mindless, rock and roll fun? The energy, the straightforwardness, unpretentiousness – these guys rock!
Aren’t The Hives tedious? I mean, aren’t they just such dumb, mindless, rock and roll ‘fun’? The reliance on energy, the gnawing familiarity of the songs, the lack of any original ideas – these guys suck!
Whatever your thoughts on The Hives, you have to admit they’re…consistent. We’ll give them ‘polarising’ as well – take opener “Come On!”, which could have been written by an infant and is either ingenious or a complete waste of time because of that. Perhaps the phrase that applies most to this, their fifth studio album, is ‘serves its purpose’.
“Go Right Ahead” cribs the titular refrain of ELO’s “Don’t Bring Me Down” and then goes on to vaguely echo “Hash Pipe” by Weezer and “Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer. The ascending brass accompaniment at the end has a pleasing menace to it, but the fact that it remains anchored in root notes just supplements the overall impression that this steadfast refusal to explore new territories renders the whole exercise a little unnecessary.
The shouty power chords of “1000 Answers” weighs in closer to Andrew WK than Pixies on the Shouty Power Chords-O-Meter, while you might actually feel yourself biting your tongue at the lyrics “I’ve got 1000 answers, one’s gotta be right / Give me 1000 chances and I’ll get it right”. Their words, not ours.
“I Want More” must be ventriloquising their fan base, if the demand for a fifth album of this is anything to go by, and…
…wait, let’s make this reviw more concise: THIS SOUNDS LIKE THE HIVES. You may or may not like that. As for us? Meh. The Hives are not so much a band as a modestly effective legal high for teenagers, like a popper or something, but in spite of all we’ve said it’s hard to begrudge them their place in the grand scheme of things.
They’re not shit, but by gum they’re unlikely to musically evolve any time soon. Pelle Almqvist recently told NME: “We’re into the idea of being one of those bands that doesn’t really have to change that much. Like the Ramones or Iron Maiden.” Honey, you’re no Ramones.
Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!
Lex Hives is out now on Disques Hives/Sony. For more information, including a list of live dates, please visit www.thehivesbroadcastingservice.com