The Hives
Lex Hives


4.0
excellent

Review

by Tigerboy USER (4 Reviews)
May 31st, 2012 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "I grew up in a hole, squeezing diamonds out of coal!"

Swedish garage-rockers The Hives have released their fifth studio album “Lex Hives” and overall the greatest rock’n’roll band of the 21st century stick to their classic high-energy garage-riff-fuelled howlin’ Hives sound on their new record. Frontman Howlin Pelle humorously admitted that the album is very “Hive’s influenced” and the name of the album came from the Roman idea of “enforcing a set of rules and accepting them as standard…We came up with some rules about how to make it ‘Hives’ and we applied them”.

He also said recently: “Being more stylistically diverse is watering down what’s at the core of what you do, I feel. Even in art, there’s basically just Picasso who could have 50 different phases that were all genius. For most people, it feels more powerful if an artist has something you can immediately recognize.”

…And right on cue the album opener “C’mon” begins with a signature thumping garage beat. Quickly the guitars tear in as Pelle repeatedly yells the title. Is their any better way to introduce yourself after a five year break between albums?

In “I Want More” Pelle sounds like a super-villian from some old cartoon: “A healthy appetite is good for one and all, and I should be at peace with the world, my baby, but still I want some more…You careful types with sort-of lives just won’t know what I mean, I speed through life like a biblical locust riding on a lazer beam.” Needless to say this particular villain is accompanied by a heavy thumping rock beat and some chunky guitar riffs as he screams “I WANT MORE!!!”

Other highlights include “Patrolling Days”, with its breakneck guitar riff and anthemic chorus, the insistent “My Time Is Coming”, and the mid-tempo stomp of “Take Back the Toys”. Pelle said recently: “Everyone is always going to compare you to the first successful thing you did. When you break through is what you’ll be judged against.” Well Pelle, these tracks are pure classic Hives which stand up to all your best tracks of the past including the breakthrough single “Hate to Say I Told You So”.

There are a couple of tracks I find myself skipping however. The disappointing Electric Light Orchestra (why?) rip-off of a lead single “Go Right Ahead” is just too generic and has a T-Rex style glam riff which my ears don’t agree with. Also there is the hideous “Wait a Minute”, with its corny repetitive backing vocals.

The deluxe edition also includes two tracks produced by Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme. The best of these is the rockabilly tinged “Insane” which bangs and crashes and screams along in a very agreeable way.

Despite their brilliance The Hives releasing schedule sometimes makes me wish it was the early sixties, where rock’n’roll albums we’re cut hard and fast. The Beatles released eleven albums between 1963 and 1970; The Hives have only managed five in fifteen years and this is their first for five years! “Lax Hives” more like, right? Some of this lethargy can be attributed to their status as a “live band”. Pelle recently said something like: “we have to release the album so we have some more songs to play live.”

Well forget that! It would be worth the wait even if they weren’t a “live band”. And maybe I should go out and see them sometime instead of sitting on my ass writing crap about them all day, ay?

Another reason it could have taken so long to make the album was the Hives decision to self produce. “It’s frustrating having the five of us all calling the shots in the studio…There are five dictators, which is the problem. Everybody thinks they should decide…Our way of working in the studio represents a modern democracy in that it’s very manipulative " there’s lobbying and there’s lying and cheating but, in the end, there’s always some form of vote,” explained Pelle.

The Hives increased the popularity of the usually underground garage punk genre. You can hear the influence they have had on alternative rock though more recently formed bands like Bass Drum of Death, Teenanger and Eddy Current Suppression Ring, who all share the same raw rock’n’roll ethic which The Hives popularized when they exploded into the mainstream in 2002. “Lex Hives” proves that the Hives are still playing rock’n’roll the way it’s meant to be played and are still capable of producing a great record with some truly distinctive and astounding moments.


user ratings (69)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
Rudy K. STAFF (2.5)
Being the Hives means never having to say you're sorry (or relevant)....


Comments:Add a Comment 
bloc
May 31st 2012


35024 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Really happy this got a review, good job.

Glad they didn't stay "experimental" like on their last album.

Slightwatch
May 31st 2012


1 Comments


It is bananas that these guys can put out an album now that is just as top-shelf as their first breakthrough album. Work ethic/skill level: Swedish. 1000 Answers, My Time Is Coming, Take Back the Toys, Spectacles, If I Had A Cent...all on one album? That should cost, like, a baby. More than one babies.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
June 1st 2012


6515 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Still have to hear this. Album should be loads of fun.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
June 1st 2012


6515 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Despite their brilliance The Hives releasing schedule sometimes makes me wish it was the early sixties, where rock’n’roll albums we’re cut hard and fast.

Don't agree with this. If they did release an album each half year or so, it would become old very fast.

Also, this point is where your review starts to slip tbh. It was fine until that paragraph, but after that I lost interest.

WhiteNoise
June 1st 2012


3253 Comments


I can't wait to pick this up when it drops next week. Anyone who says the band sucks just needs to see them live...

TheMilQ
June 1st 2012


57 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Love it! a more serious album from the hives.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
June 1st 2012


6515 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Serious?

TheMilQ
June 1st 2012


57 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well... let's say 'less screaming' ...

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
June 1st 2012


6515 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha, yeah. Too bad he doesn't go all over the top anymore.

TheMilQ
June 1st 2012


57 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

and the fact that there aren't catchy songs like 'Hate To Say I Told You So' & 'Walk Idiot Walk' maybe it needs a few more listens.

newjunkaesthetic93
June 1st 2012


1871 Comments


Heard the first single and was dissapointed.

xfearbefore
June 1st 2012


1246 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

New Hives album?! Fuck yeah! Thanks for writing this, now I have to go check this out. Review is good too.

Digging: The Smoking Popes - Get Fired

GringoSuave89
June 6th 2012


1055 Comments


newjunk, single is a poor representation. Listen to Take Back The Toys, Wait A Minute, and 1000 Answers.

This album is just so damn good. Welcome back, Hives.

Digging: Mike Will Made-It - Ransom



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