"The Black and White Album" (A&M; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

If it wasn't for the band's energy level and charisma, I'm not sure that The Hives' blend of The Clash, U2 and The Knack would really work. As you might guess, the three aforementioned influences don't really have a lot in common, yet the Hives sound is an impressive combination of styles represented by those bands. "The Black and White Album" has the loose, punk rock stagger of The Clash, the bold songwriting style of U2 and the perky pop sensibilities of the Knack.

As hinted above, that risky conglomeration doesn't always quite work. Sometimes, it seems that The Hives are trying too hard. Most of the time, however, the band's undeniable energy level -- both in the vocals and musicianship departments -- takes each track to the next level.

I can't remember listening to any of the band's previous albums so I can't really tell you how "The Black and White Album" compares. I can tell you that the CD is certainly solid enough and I can't imagine fans of the band finding this one not to their liking.

 The Hives: Vigilante Carlstroem - guitar; Nicholaus Arson - guitar; Dr. Matt Destruction - bass, Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist; Chris Dangerous - drums.

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"Veni Vidi Vicious" (Burning Heart Records; 2000)

Reviewed by Snidermann

So this is what happens when 1960s surf music is mixed with good old fashioned punk rock. The music of the Hives is simple, fast and easy to get into. I was drawn to this frantic music from the first spin because it was light and did not take a lot of brain power to understand. 

Chord-heavy guitar riffs with plenty of bass, drums and attitude, in a word, great rock'n'roll from the very first track to its breathless ending.  This band simply cooks and cooks simply.  If you like your punk, simple, fast and loud, The Hives are right up your alley.

Hives: Viglante Carlstroem, Nicholaus Arson, Dr. Matt Destruction, Howlin’ Pete Almqvist and Chris Dangerous. 

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright © 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2022 15:17:12 -0400 .