Sunday Punk Fix: The Hives

One of the liveliest, energetic and genuine of bands going around right now are Sweden’s The Hives. Started as a teenage garage band in 1993, they still maintain an uncorrupted source of Howlin’ Pete’s arage rock ferocity. The main source of brilliance is their ability to have a strong poudning rythym section that both incorporates and blasts through the whirling shout out chorus’ The Hives always offer. It recognition of their new album and slot on Falls Festival, here are the Top 10 Hives songs.

10. Go Right Ahead (Lex Hives): One from their latest album, The Hives definitely incorporated a more slick and produced tone on the record than in the past. Although it might have alienated the bands more punk fans, it still holds true to The Hives’ aspirations to be the biggest band in the world. Features an absolutely killer horn section that provides an amazing underlying, swelling bass and overall epic tone.

9. Square One, Here I Come (Black and White Album): A clever re-telling of a man’s decline into his current position of helplessness, except in a lot more basic way. Just a classic shit-out-of-luck story, and how you have to persevere. Think of that…with ragged guitar plugs and riffs, and cowbell, lots of cowbell.

8. Main Offender (Your New Favourite Band); A huge, stomping, snotty introduction really sets up the entire song. A charging riff, layered with fuzz and dirty to the bone, Howlin Pete throws out his rebellious, discharged points and lays it all on the floor. Absolutely gut wrenching stubbornness.

7. Tick Tick Boom (Black and White Album): The introduction is so tantalising, and leaves so much buildup, that it seems impossible to deliver on expectation. Rip-roaring, like a chainsaw is the answer to that expectation. Not literally, but that is what it feels like is happening to you when you sit down, and get your head blown off by it’s sheer proportions.

6. Walk Idiot Walk (Tyrannosaurus Hives): The album name is a dead give-away of the bands intentions, and earned them legions of fans when it was released. So the album must be jam packed with hits, like this one: Walk Idiot Walk. It’s really just the band venting frustration about the stupid people who robotically function throughout their lives, but it packs the biggest of punches, with the absolute infectious repetition of it’s bass and guitar riffs.

5. Try It Again (The Black and White Album): With it’s call-and-answer style, Try it Again gives off quite an underdog vibe. There’s a real Rocky punching a bag off meat spirituality to it. There’s the same charging ahead atmosphere, and an all round exaggeration that really makes the song what it is. 

4. B is for Brutus (Tyrannosaurus Hives): The scuzziest and grittiest of The Hives songs. It has a very rock n roll approach, and there are no real anthem-like flourishes. The riff is also slightly longer and more complex than other Hives’ efforts, and it really shows, in the overload of groove that oozes from the song.

3. Won’t Be Long (The Black and White Album): Successfully integrating percussion ting tings with heavy and light differentiating guitar melodies would be the strongest point for this song. It really drives off too much of a negative feel with a perfect screams and bouncing guitar ringing.

2. Hate To Say I Told You So (Veni Vidi Vicious) The Hives first real hit, off their debut album. Has a real taste of their bratty, petulant, and semi-arrogant attitude that everyone can’t get enough of, and has really been the reason why they’ve trail blazed so well as a garage band. Very in your face, and very, very good.

1. A.K.A I-D-I-O-T (Barely Legal) Definitely the fastest song in The Hives’ catalogue. This song just has such a frenetic, haphazard, and ballistic attitude to it, and romps from start to finish, blasting away any other competitor. It’s a clever song, disguised as a stupid song, written and performed by clever people, pretending to be stupid people, about stupid people pretending to be smart people… I need to sit down.


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