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The Black and White Album

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The Hives deliver team spirit: thick chords, unison sung choruses, collective yells, doo-wop backing vocals, punk energy and an irreverent sense of fun. The “woo-hoos” that stalk the southern backporch baptism fire of “Well All Right!,” the Ramones chords that steamroll “Tick Tick Boom,” the Iggy Pop swagger of “Hey Little World” and “Won’t Be Long” make this Swedish quintet a formidable ally in the struggle to keep raw, infectious garage rock alive in 2007. Sure, plenty of bands have the spirit, but The Hives possess an extra musical and conceptual thrust. Their black and white visuals perfectly complement their ‘no gray area’ music. It’s a simple up or down vote, yet they’re not afraid to stray from the manual and tap their experimental side. The album was recorded in Mississippi, Miami, London and Sweden and the results are just as sprawling. “A Stroll Through Hive Manor Corridors” is a lo-fi B-movie instrumental where the cheap organ sounds as if it’s being manhandled by an intruder wearing gloves, whereas “T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S.” is their dance-floor collaboration with hip-hop producer Pharell Williams that sounds like a young punk’s homage to Chic through the ears of Devo.

Customer Reviews

this is more like 3.5 stars...

Get this first. I love the Hives. Even when they made that song with Timbaland. Even when they sold out on that Nike commercial. Even when they decided to tour with the crap that is Maroon 5. So you get it, I've stuck with them throughout thick and the recently very thin. First off... this is a hell of a long album for the Hives. The other three were all under 30 minutes. I kind of miss the short burst of explosion one minute punk songs, but change here is not exactly bad. They are trying to get somewhat of a new sound, which is cool because they could easily give us Veni Vidi Vicious II if they wanted to. But they didn't because that would be too easy. The Black and White Album has an interesting blend of songs. However, you get a mix of typical Hives here with some much unexpected crap. T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S. is horrible. I give them props for tyrying a new style (hey, it worked in Diabolic Scheme) but they fail miserably here. Try It Again sounds like a cliche wannabe rock song. (Notice the two songs Pharell produced are on the worst songs of the album list) But there is one worse song... Giddy Up. Oh God, it is just annoying. With that said, there are many highlights here. Puppet On A String is very non-Hivesy, but has a very cool, twisted vibe to it... call it the Diabolic Scheme of this record. And I mean that in a good way. Square One Here I Come is brilliant and classic so-dumb-it's-smart-rock that only the Hives can pull off. You Dress Up For Armageddon has a classic Hives feel with some added pop. Tick Tick Boom is the Hate To Say I Told You So of this record, something Tyrannosaurus Hives was missing. Overall, when the highs are high, this album is just short of the greatest work the Hives have done to date. But when the lows are low, you'll want to shake the Hives violently and scream "what the f#%* were you guys thinking?!" in their faces. But we all know you can't do that. They're the Hives, and they always seem to know what they're doing, and you have to respect that.

awesome album

awesome album; giddy up, puppet on a string, and a stroll through hive manor corridors aren't what a hives fan would expect, but they kinda grow on you

Loud, Fast, Fun

The Black and White Album is almost exactly what you expect from The Hives; in-your-face rock 'n' roll and not much else, which is fine with me. These guys, despite their desire to become more versatile musically, are best when they stick with what they know. Tracks like T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S. and Puppet On a String really aren't bad songs, but when they slow things down it feels a little disappointing. Luckily, most of the album moves along well and makes for an enjoyable listen. Favorite Tracks: "Tick Tick Boom," "You Got It All...Wrong," and "Won't Be Long"


Formed: 1993 in Fagersta, Sweden

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Eight years into their career, the Hives rose from garage rock stalwarts to one of the trendiest bands of the early 2000s, along with the Strokes and the White Stripes. Mixing arty contrivances such as a strict black-and-white dress code and the guidance of a (possibly imaginary) Svengali named Randy Fitzsimmons with Stooges-inspired rock, the Hives -- Nicholaus Arson, Chris Dangerous, Dr. Matt Destruction, Vigilante Carlstroem, and Howlin' Pelle Almqvist -- formed in 1993 in Fagersta, Sweden, while...
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