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CD: The Hives – Lex Hives | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Hives – Lex Hives

CD: The Hives – Lex Hives

Despite the Fred Astaire style the Swedish rockers are brilliant musical scruffs

Suit you sir: the Hives come out of the shadows

Don't be fooled by the top hat and tails that they've got, The Hives is still the dirtiest garage band on the block. The high velocity Swedish quintet's fifth album marks a change in sartorial terms, as anyone who spotted vocalist Howlin' Pelle Almqvist doing his cartoonish Boris-at-the-Bullingdon, rubber-hipped Jagger swagger on Later this week will have seen. But in musical terms it is classic riff sandwich business as usual.

Lex Hives is so old school maybe it should be released on wax cylinder rather than download.

The 12 tracks certainly wear their influences on their well-turned sleeves. The stand-out moment "Go Right Ahead" is a heady brew of pumping Feelgood-style R&B with a touch of Cramps rockabilly lobbed into the mix. "1000 Answers" feels like it toppled off some long-lost punk compilation. The powerhouse drumming of The Damned is in mix, along with The Ramones and Raw Power-era Stooges. Guitarist Nicholaus Arson – Pelle Almqvist's brother – grinds out colossal powerchord earworms throughout that chew their way into your brain.

There are occasional stabs of soulful brass but this combo – or at least their elusive publicity-shy writer/svengali Randy Fitzsimmons, rumoured to be the alter ego of Nicholaus Arson – knows what their demographic wants and on Lex Hives deliver it in spades. With some albums one wonders how a band is going to reproduce the precision-tooled recorded version onstage. The exciting thing about The Hives, who really know how to put on a rough, tough rock show, is that one can be confident that when they do these songs onstage they are going to sound even better. Terrific stuff from the superlative Swedes. Truly the bee's knees.

Watch The Hives perform "Go Right Ahead" on Later


Guitarist Nicholaus Arson grinds out powerchord earworms that chew their way into your brain


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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Brilliant. Can't wait to see them live!

You can stream their album on Facebook now...pretty much that scene in 'The Thing' when the defibrillator paddles go through the guy's chest. 'You gotta be f'g kidding.' Ridiculously good.

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