Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Your New Favourite Band, The Hives...Show # 169

Coming from Fagersta, Sweden, The Hives formed in 1993. Getting their name from a random page in the dictionary, The Hives consist of Howlin' Pelle Almqvist (vocals), Nicholaus Arson (also the brother of Pelle) (guitar), Vigilante Carlstroem (guitar), Dr. Matt Destruction (bass) and Chris Dangerous on drums. They are also believed to be under the guidance of Randy Fitzsimmons (who is rumoured to be Nicholaus Arson). Fitzsimmons is said to be the one who got The Hives to form a band. The band who is known for their high energy punk/garage sound, started off more in the hardcore direction of punk. In 1994, a demo tape was made called Sounds Like Sushi. The band then got signed to Burning Heart Records, and in 1996 released their first official release, the Oh Lord! When? How? EP. The EP still sounded hardcore influenced, but the band was still finding their sound. The songs had peculiar titles such as "Some People Know All Too Well How Bad Liquorice, Or Any Candy For That Matter, Can Taste When Having Laid Out In The Sun Too Long - And I Think I Just Ate Too Much", and "Bearded Lady", but it had it's moments.

In 1997, The Hives released their first full length album on Burning Heart Records, Barely Legal. Named after an early stage name for guitarist Vigilante Carlstroem, It was a high energy fuelled cocky, punk inspired album. Songs such as "A.K.A. I-D-I-O-T" showed off the Hives new emerging style, but influences such as The Misfits, Circle Jerks and other bands of that nature seemed to have influenced the band greatly. The album is as good as any Hives album, it is raw, fast, energetic, it lasts just a little over 27 minutes long and there are 14 songs on it. Other interesting tracks include "Well, Well, Well", "Hail Hail Spit n' Drool", and "Here We Go Again". The band then went on their first US tour and in 1998 released another EP, the A.K.A. I-D-I-O-T EP. This EP contained five songs including "A.K.A. I-D-I-O-T". Some US pressings of the album contained a version of the song "Numbers" (originally done by The Adicts). It also contained an early version of the song "Outsmarted", a song that would appear on the bands next full length album.

In 2000, Veni Vidi Vicious was released; The title is a play on the words "Veni Vidi Vici", from Julius Caesar, which meant, I came, I saw, I conquered. The album was different from its predecessor, it featured a more garage rock sound, but at the same time maintains a punk energy. The band gave a quote to describe it as "A velvet glove with brass knuckles, both brutal and sophisticated at the same time". The album generated interest and after seeing the "Hate to Say I Told You So" music video, the band was offered a deal with Poptones in 2001. A best of compilation was released in the UK titled Your New Favourite Band in 2001. The compilation featured songs from the bands first two albums, B-sides, and songs from the A.K.A. I-D-I-O-T EP. It went to #7 on the UK charts. The band then re-released their singles "Hate To Say I Told You So" and "Main Offender"; the album Veni Vidi Vicious was also re-released in the US in 2002. It is also important to mention the Hives uniforms. The band wear a combination of black and white suits, which they started to take more serious around Veni Vidi Vicious, it helped created more of a stage presence for the band.

As for the actual music, the album was 28 minutes long featuring 12 songs. I got the album for $2 used at a record store in 2002 and have been hooked on the band ever since. The album contained songs such as "Main Offender", "Die, Alright!", "Supply and Demand", and many other great tracks. It also features a cover song "Find Another Girl" a slower song, originally by Curtis Mayfield. Following a tour and success due to "Hate To Say I Told You So" (#23 in the UK, and # 6 in the US), the band would re-enter the studio in 2003. They also signed a deal with Universal (said to be around $12 Million), which got them involved in a legal battle with their previous label Burning Heart, who still said they were on contract for one more album.

In 2004, dressed in old fashioned black and white southern suits, The Hives returned with their third album Tyrannosaurus Hives. This time The Hives took on more of a Devo inspired edge to their song writing, creating an excellent album lasting 29 minutes and 59 seconds, containing 12 songs. When making the album the band said they wanted it to sound like Kraftwerk meets the Sex Pistols. The sound of the album is more refined, and in a more new wave atmosphere, but that doesn't mean it doesn't rock. The album contains songs such as "Abra Cadaver", "No Pun Intended","Dead Quote Olympics" and "Missing Link", which are easily some of the best songs the band has ever recorded. The first single for the album was "Walk Idiot Walk" a short and snappy song that can be compared to The Who's "Can't Explain"; The song itself debuted at # 13 on the UK charts and # 19 on the US modern rock charts. The second single from the album "Two-Timing Touch and Broken Bones", is more fast paced track than "Walk Idiot Walk", it cracked the top fifty, putting the band in the charts yet again. The song itself featured the double guitar attack of Vigilante Carlstroem and Nicholaus Arson along with the hard hitting repetitive drumbeat supplied by Chris Dangerous. Other great songs include the slower, but equally as good songs "Diabolic Scheme", and "A Little More for You"; The songs can be described as being new wave and soul inspired.

Tyrannosaurus Hives also spawned many B-sides some just as good as the songs on the actual album such as "Hives Meet the Norm", "Gene Pool Convulsions", "Keel Hauling Class of 89", and two cover songs "Little Lil'", and "Born to Cry". It is also important to mention that on the back of the album cover of Tyrannosaurus Hives there are six pairs of legs, indicating that Randy Fitzsimmions is there. In 2004, Your New Favourite Band was released America, it had the same track listing as the 2001 UK release, but it also came with a DVD. On this DVD there are various full live performances such as MTV $2 Bill, and some Music Videos. In 2005, the band released a DVD Tussles in Brussels which was a live performance of the band, featuring music videos and UK TV appearances. The band also released a new mixed version of "A Little More for You" featuring an organ. After extensive touring the band would begin to work on material for their next album.

Despite making some appearances at various festivals The Hives focused on recording for much of 2006/2007. Deciding not to record the whole album in Sweden the band worked with different producers, mostly American. The band worked with Dennis Herring (Elvis Costello, Modest Mouse), Jacknife Lee (U2, Green Day, Bloc Party), and Pharell Williams. The band was said to have 20-30 songs recorded, and hoping to release the extras as B-sides. The band also worked with rap artist Timbaland and released the collaboration "Throw It On Me". Their newest album titled The Black and White Album, was released in the UK on October 15th, 2007, and on November 13th in the US/Canada.

The albums first single is "Tick Tick Boom" a fast stop and start song similar to the classic Hives format. The second single from the album is "Try it Again" a rocker that has a breakdown in the middle similar to the "Hey Mickey Your So Fine" song (originally by Toni Basil), with cheerleaders. The album is much more produced than the bands previous efforts, and shows the band expanding their sound with synthesizers, organs, piano, and funk; It is also the longest Hives album to date clocking in at just over 45 minutes. "You Got It All...Wrong" is a catchy track that can be compared to a song from Tyrannosaurus Hives. "Well Alright!" (a song with a swing to it) and "T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S" (disco and funk) were produced by Pharrell and shows a of change in attitude for the band. "It Won't Be Long" can be compared to the Ramones song "Pet Semetary", and is easily one of the best songs on The Black and White Album. Other great tracks include "Hey Little World" (a song premiered live in 2006), "Square One Here I Come" (a riffy masterpiece) and The Richard Hell-ish "You Dress Up For Armageddon". The album also contains strange material such as the glitchy, Devo-ish "Giddy Up!", the haunting "A Stroll Through Hives Manor Corridors", and "Puppet on a String" a piano track with creepy vocals. The album ends with the catchy "Bigger Hole to Fill" that leaves you wanting to hear more.

The Hives influences range from punk Sex Pistols, Misfits, Stooges, to James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Devo, Kraftwerk, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Sonics, and The Kinks. They are a great energetic interesting band from Sweden, and a band that still show that Rock no matter which way describe it, is still alive and kicking.

Hives Playlist:

1. Howlin’ Pelle Talks to the Kids (Veni Vidi Vicious B-Side 2000)
2. Cellblock (Oh Lord! When? How? EP 1996)
3. A.K.A I-D-I-O-T (Barely Legal 1997)
4. Barely Homosapien (Instant Assholes Compilation 1999)
5. Hey Little World (Black and White Album 2007)
6. Stop and Think It Over (Compulsive Gamblers Cover) (Live Rock Am Ring 2003)
7. Abra Cadaver (Tyrannosaurus Hives 2004)
8. You Got it All…Wrong (Black and White Album 2007)
9. Here We Go Again (Barely Legal 1997)
10. Black Jack (Barely Legal 1997)
11. Die, Alright! (Veni Vidi Vicious 2000)
12. Main Offender (Veni Vidi Vicious 2000)
13. No Pun Intended (Tyrannosaurus Hives 2004)
14. Missing Link (Tyrannosaurus Hives 2004)
15. You Dress Up for Armageddon (Black and White Album 2007)
16. Uptempo Venomous Poison (Barely Legal 1997)
17. The Stomp (Barely Legal 1997)
18. B is for Brutus (Tyrannosaurus Hives 2004)
19. Love in Plaster (Tyrannosaurus Hives 2004)
20. The Hives – Declare Guerre Nucleaire (Veni Vidi Vicious 2000)
21. Find Another Girl (Veni Vidi Vicious 2000)
22. Keel Hauling Class of 89 (Tyrannosaurus Hives B-Side 2004)
23. Lost and Found (Saints Cover) (Veni Vidi Vicious B-Side 2000)
24. Hives Meet the Norm (Tyrannosaurus Hives B-Side 2004)
25. Well Alright! (Black and White Album 2007)
26. T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S (Black and White Album 2007)
27. Supply and demand (Veni Vidi Vicious 2000)
28. Uptight (Tyrannosaurus Hives B-Side 2004)
29. A Little More for You (new mix) (Tyrannosaurus Hives - A Little More For You Single 2005)
30. The Hives are Law, You Are Crime (Your New Favourite Band 2001)
31. Bigger Hole to Fill (Black and White Album 2007)

Hives Videos:

Tick Tick Boom (Music Video)
Abra Cadaver (Music Video)
A Little More for You (Music Video)
Walk Idiot Walk (Music Video)
Die, Alright! (Music Video)
Hate To Say I Told You So (Music Video)
A.K.A. I-D-I-O-T (Music Video)
Stop and Think It Over (Live Rock AM Ring 2003)
Two Timing Touch and Broken Bones (Live in New York)
Try It Again (Live)
You Dress Up for Armageddon (Live August 2007)
Hey Little World (Live August 2007)
Genepool Convulsions (Live Hurricane 2006)
Main Offender (Live Jules Holland)
Supply and Demand (Live Paris 2004)

3 comments: said...

It's hard to find someone who knows what they're talking about when it comes to punk rock. You can usually tell by what decade they focus on. If it's the 80's, they're probably a little naive. If it's the 70's, they're pretty damn smart. And if it's the 60's, they're just stuck up. Personally, I'm pretty damn smart and just stuck up. Maybe a little naive.

Anyway, I'm looking for a ton of Hives tracks, and can't seem to find them anywhere. I was hoping you could email me, and let me know how to get ahold of the following (I shy away from file sharing programs, I don't trust them):

Hell No
I Can't Just Give It To You
Fall is Just Something Grownups Invented
Genepool Convulsions
Punkrock City Morning
Gninrom Ytic Kcorknup
You Think You´re So Darn Special
Some People Know All To Well How Bad Liquorice, Or Any
Candy For That Matter, Can Taste When Having Laid Out In The Sun Too Long - And I Think I Just Ate Too Much
How Will I Cope With That?
Bearded Lady
Let Me Go
Barely Homosapien
Hives Meet the Norm
Keel Hauling Class of 89
Howlin’ Pelle Talks to the Kids


Little Lil
Born to Cry
Lost and Found
Stop and Think It Over

Let me know if you can help.

- John

Anonymous said...

OMG...i've just notice this blog...please, PLEASE PLEASE!!!!
re-upload this link...for god sake!!

it is really really dificult to find this songs...actually i think this's the most complete setlist for just what i need..please.


Dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.