The Hives – Tyrannosaurus Hives

October 27th, 2004
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A Living Dinosaur

Late 70’s punk rock, much like late 60’s hard rock had a raw confident sound. An unrefined, brash and fun approach to distorted guitar and blues swing. Each era saw some of its’ brightest move on to explore unfamiliar territory with strikingly surprising success. Now, in 2004, The Hives have landed their own fusion bomb of energetic garage rock diversity.Tyrannosaurus Hives the newest (and first full length since 2000’s Veni Vidi Vicious) is curiously titled. A T-Rex of the ancient dinosaurs age is a creature that had no time to evolve while the Hives have grown considerably in the 4 years since their last album. This outing shows a twangy and sometimes electro side of the band. That’s not to say anyone could confuse this record with dancy techno, but there is a fair amount of dirty keyboards and carefully placed strings laced throughout.

Even more impressive is that by stripping away distortion songs such as the reverberated “Abra Cadaver” and the adrenaline quick “Missing Link” somehow pack more punch than some of their older raw efforts. In particular 2 songs make this album an absolute must own: “Diabolic Scheme” and “Love In Plaster”. The former is pleasantly reminiscent of the original Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic “I Put a Spell On You” only with a slightly more upbeat tempo, the latter with singer Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist belting out some of his best stand-melodies yet against masterfully simplistic guitar riffs.

If there is any downfall here it’s that the album rarely takes a moment to catch a breath but pace is not what makes the Hives special. Unabashed frantic fun is their strong suit.

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews