June 19, 2012

Lex Hives: new Hives record howls Swedish wisdom

Just before buying the new Hives record, Lex Hives, we had a moment of hesitation. Staring at it on the best-seller shelves, Katie asked, "Do you think we'll still like The Hives as much as we used to?"

It's been five years since their last effort. Would their thrash wisdom still hold sway?

You see, I've learned a lot from The Hives and Howlin' Pelle Almqvist. For example:
:: "You wanna cut a piece of cake you gotto have a bit of blade"
:: "You dress up for Armageddon / I dress up for summer"
:: "You searched the globe for them perfect looks / And you searched for answers in all your books / And finally by diabolic ascent here I am / Said it's just a diabolic / Diabolic scheme
:: "This time you've really got something, it's such a clever idea / But it doesn't mean it's good 'cause you found it at the library / Yes, they were smart but they are dead / And you're repeating all that they said"
The new record carries on with songs against all those stuffed shirts and cautions against materialism. Being skeptical seems to be the howl of the Hives.

The record rocks, with a strong back half that really never lets up. They've included some small departures, including a heavier sound on "I Want More," that reminds me a bit of Jack White, some moments of looser production and thumping drums, and a little more clapping and grooving. Also of note, they've avoided one staple of every other Hives record: the experimental dud. There are two "ballads" (played Hives-style), but I think they work better than "Find Another Girl" from back on Vendi Vidi Vicious. But I guess that's not tough.

The record is too new for most lyrics websites to have all the songs cataloged right now, but I've pulled some of the latest advice, handed down on high from the Hives:
:: "I've got a thousand answers, one's gotta be right / Give me a thousand chances, and I'll get it right"
:: "When I speed through life like biblical locusts on a laser beam / Ain't gonna deserve nothing, no I just gotta have / I am a man of much importance to me, I'm a much important man"
:: "You say – "These kids they're all insane / that 'they got drugs instead of brains' / They drink blood at night, yes they do, not every one of them, but a few"
:: "When you don't wake up for nothin / Then nothing's all you get"
All told, I think they portray an enviable life outlook. Try hard. Don't be fooled.

Above: A crazy medley of covers includes "Hey Ya!"

Also, I've set up a link directly to a really magical moment from a recent live show. From what I can gather, Howlin' Pelle went out into the crowd, got everyone to sit down, and then, well, get up! Check it out: here.

We've written about the Hives before. Here.

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