Artist – Album: The Hives – Veni Vidi Vicious
Released: 10th April 2000
Sounds Like: They came, they saw, they had a couple of hits
The Hives had so many gimmicks when they first burst into the international rock scene in the early 00’s – as a Swedish, suit wearing collective with decidedly old fashioned hair styles, reportedly formed by the fictional songwriter and general music genius Randy Fitzsimmons, and fronted by the kitschly named Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist spouting out mock anger to songs with silly titles – that it was hard to actually take in the music they were bringing to the table. In the cold light of the 4,748 days (13 years if you’re going to be slapdash with your time keeping) since its release, all the stunts have faded away, leaving just a plain great garage group with almost as many hooks as attention seeking turns.
‘The Hives Declare Guerre Nucleaire’ and ‘Die, All Right!’ are blustering guitar-led riots that tear through their tunes as though they had somewhere infinitely cooler they really should be. They probably did. Most of the album carries on in a similar freewheeling and volatile vein, but if delicious snippets of faux-punk aren’t all that you’re after, they do do a surprising turn at 60’s style pop with their cover of Jerry Butler’s ‘Find Another Girl’.
To be fair, it was always pretty clear on the catchy singles ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’ and ‘Main Offender’ that we were dealing with more than a flash in the pan rock group. Perhaps the only surprising thing about their career since this point is that they’ve not really managed to kick on. Garage rock undoubtedly had its heyday a decade ago, but the band showed enough nous, chops and even a surprising slight variety in the pace of their act to suggest that they’d be able to weather out ever changing pop fashions. For some reason they haven’t really, but don’t let that deter you from trying this stomping sophomore effort.
Albumaday... rating: 7/10
1. The Hives Declare Guerre Nucleaire – 1:35
2. Die, All Right! – 2:46
3. A Get Together to Tear It Apart – 1:52
4. Main Offender – 2:33
5. Outsmarted – 2:22
6. Hate to Say I Told You So – 3:22
7. The Hives Introduce the Metric System in Time – 2:06
8. Find Another Girl – 3:12
9. Statecontrol – 1:54
10. Inspection Wise 1999 – 1:37
11. Knock Knock – 2:10
12. Supply and Demand – 2:26
Listen to ‘The Hives Declare Guerre Nucleaire ’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWAaSVm_Y60