The Hives
Barely Legal


3.5
great

Review

by doabic USER (3 Reviews)
June 13th, 2008 | 4 replies | 7,474 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Hives make their appearance in the States with a fast paced garage rock album.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

The Hives album Barely Legal (1997) Review by Doabic

The Hives are a Swedish Rock Band thats genre can be placed with that of The Offspring and Guttermouth. They are easily placed in the garage rock/ punk rock genre with a main focus of accelerated drums, guitars, and vocals. Barely Legal was released in 1997 as the hives first album in the States and was mostly ignored without the presence of a mainstream hit. However this album did start their journey in the footsteps of great garage rock bands like the offspring and Guttermouth.

The band has Pelle Almqvist ,or Howlin' Pelle as he's sometimes called, on lead vocals. He does a great job going along with the guitair and drums and syncing up the music. The fluctuations in his voice are apparent in the song Uptempo Venomous Poison. His brother Niklas Almqvist plays on the guitar and has a great start in the song " Oh Lord ! When ? How ? " and really accelerates the music forward. Mikael Åström or Vigilante Carlstroem plays guitar, and Mattias Bernvall or Dr. Matt Destruction plays the bass guitar. Any garage rock sounding band has to have a fast drummer, and Christian Grahn or Chris Dangerous is exactly that.

The Hives obviously do not take themselves too seriously, which is apparent with the humorous start of " Well, Well, Well ". The next song coming up " a.k.a. I-D-I-O-T " is very catchy vocally, and one of the best on the album. It is very good to have a good start to the album and a.k.a really starts Barely Legal off with a bang. The length of the songs on Barely Legal usually faces what I like to call the plague of the garage rock bands. They are very short, sometimes not over 1 minute and 30 seconds. This is good and bad. The album keeps you interested with various songs and minor changes in tempo. But ultimately falls into a short 25 minute duration.

The albums song " here we go again " is one of the songs where the percussion is quite noticeable. It is made quite interesting with the pause in the middle of the song to create a build up. Up next " I'm a Wicked One " has the default fast start with the two guitarists and a major vocal and drum focus throughout the song. Automatic Schmuck is a great listen, the vocals are very good and the ending adds a bit of humor into the album mix. The song " king of asskissing " is my least favorite of the album, as it is quite bland in my respects.

Black Jack however gives us a little bump with a nice change of pace. It actually has a absence of 2 of the guitarists for the start and middle of the song. Which completely alters The Hives sound . This provides a nice recovery song, it is still moderately paced however. " Whats That Spell... Go to Hell " is the song that brings us back to the very fast paced music we have been listening to since the start of the album. " Theme from... " is one of my second favorite on the album as it keeps the drum presence and actually alternates the guitars. This allows you to distinguish them from one another, unlike the rest of the album where all the guitars start at once and end at once.

My favorite of this album is " The Stomp " .I am a big fan of the alternative genre and this reminds me of the work from the gorillaz. It contains completely abstract vocals and has a sort of nada surf guitar kind of feel to most of the song. The album finishes off with Closed for the Season, which is a nice fast paced ending to a great album. Barely Legal keeps you interested with minor changes in guitar usage and percussion, but still manages to give an authentic garage rock feel. One of the major influences of the Hives was undoubtedly the offspring. The hives gives a great performance in Barely Legal and is the start to a great album list.

3.5 / 5 - Great

Recommended Songs

a.k.a. I-D-I-O-T
Theme from...
The Stomp
I'm a Wicked One


user ratings (90)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
June 13th 2008



14512 Comments


review is ok, band is averageThis Message Edited On 06.13.08

ASberg
June 13th 2008



2161 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great album, i would say it's more punk than you discribe but it's all good.

bloc
June 15th 2011



34649 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn this is fast

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

WhiteNoise
January 12th 2014



3037 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is so damn good

Digging: Dot Hacker - How's Your Process? (Work)



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy