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The Hives - The Black and White Album (Cover Artwork)

The Hives

The Hives: The Black and White AlbumThe Black and White Album (2007)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: superskabrosuperskabro
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Love it or hate it, the "Garage" rock explosion of 2001 did change the face of mainstream music. Of the four leaders of this movement (the Strokes, White Stripes, the Hives and the Vines), Sweden's the Hives seem to be making the most interesting music. This holds true with their latest album, The B.
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Love it or hate it, the "Garage" rock explosion of 2001 did change the face of mainstream music. Of the four leaders of this movement (the Strokes, White Stripes, the Hives and the Vines), Sweden's the Hives seem to be making the most interesting music. This holds true with their latest album, The Black and White Album.

The Hives definitely have a specific sound: pompous, punk-infused rock and roll. Luckily, this style doesn't limit them too much at all. Even dance numbers like the Pharrell-produced "T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S." or the Addams Family-inspired "Puppet on a String" fit in perfectly to the generally rowdy Hives sound. Fans of the Hives' rowdier, punk fare won't be disappointed by Black and White in the least bit, however. Tracks like the body-jerking single "Tick Tick Boom" or the rocking "Return the Favor" (which is quite possibly the best song on the album) should inspire more than a few mosh pits in the future.

The most interesting tracks on the album are of a more pop-oriented sound. The driving "Won't Be long" sounds like what Bloc Party would sound like if they smiled in their promo photos. The hilarious "Giddy Up!" is an ode to make-up sex and could quite possibly become a dance floor favorite with it's near-disco beat.

Black and White comes to a close with the almost brooding "Bigger Hole to Fill." The song begins with an Interpol-esque bass line and goofy baritone vocals but quickly explodes into a Hives-worthy chorus.

After 14 tracks of Black and White, it is apparent that the Hives can master any genre they tackle. This, however, is also the only negative point regarding Black and White. While all the songs are wonderful and diverse, they do not feel like a cohesive album. Unlike 2003's Tyrannosaurus Hives, Black and White just seems like a collection of singles. Awesome singles, granted, but singles nonetheless. This may seem like a moot point to some, but to others, it can mean minus points.

If you've snubbed the Hives in the past because of their status as a "The" band, please open your eyes and ears, pull your thumb out of your butt and listen to this album.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Against Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Weakerthans - Left and LeavingThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Hives - Veni Vidi ViciousWeezer - WeezerThe Weakerthans - Reconstruction SiteFugazi - Repeater + 3 SongsDeath From Above 1979 - You're A Woman, I'm A MachineWeezer - PinkertonBanner Pilot - Collapser

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
baseball (March 21, 2008)

Late to the party, but going to hop on the pro-Hives bandwagon here.

Give this album more than a couple listens, it's great. I really think that if you think this is derivative or predictable you're just not listening closely enough. This album is chock full of catchy, but still aggressive and interesting rock and roll songs.

glasspipemurder (January 29, 2008)

i'm not gonna specifically defend their last album, but I don't think the Hives can compare to Zebrahead in terms of creativity. hell, even "Anthem" was good and it was with a new (worse) singer and primary songwriter.
point being, sure you're gonna love the Hives, they're catchy and totally predictable. Zebrahead (at least The Yellow and Waste of Mind) are much more talented and unique, but obviously plenty of people still find solace in tried and true styles...a la the Hives.

greg0rb (January 27, 2008)

Heh I just noticed that this thread went all Zebrahead over here... yeah I wrote that last Zebrahead review. That thing sucked. It was odd how many people on this site defended it- really doesnt seem like a band that anyone would like let alone ADMIT to liking around here. Major loss of cred points I think. The Hives however rule.
-Greg

branden (January 25, 2008)

glasspipe have you ever listened to any of the hives full lengths? if you did i think you'd be pleasantly surpirised at how fun and well done they are, even if they are a bit derivative.

GlassPipeMurder (January 25, 2008)

zebrahead is great. unique and original, and catchy as hell. this is pretty generic, derivative music. just sayin.

superskabro (January 24, 2008)

yeah, I got a kick out of all the pro-Zebrahead comments myself. Zebrahead was created with the sole purpose of opening for Reel Big Fish or Goldfinger. They headlined at the Pageant theater in St. Louis a few years back and about 80 people showed up. The Hives fucking rule, btw.

Dante3000 (January 24, 2008)

I think it's odd that a bunch of people are like, "I can't believe anyone still likes this" and all the rest. I can get if it's not your style, but why were there so many people jumping to defend fucking Zebrahead in their last review?
Seriously.
-Dante

branden (January 24, 2008)

i actually have to say i really enjoy listening to this all the way through, i think it's quite cohesive. not nearly as disjointed as everybody makes it out to be.

llmp (January 23, 2008)

About half of their songs are really good, the other half are so annoying it physically hurts to listen to them.

Jesus_H_Christ (January 22, 2008)

White Stripes > The Hives

Cos (January 22, 2008)

@Deadpan:
I was living in Dublin in '01 and I hated, but hated everyone I met insisting that the Strokes were the best band in X number of years. Somehow, the Vines, the Hives, and the White Stripes were all lumped together and while I can see the bands having a certain common aesthetic, I can't hear much similarity. "Veni Vedi Vicious" was the best of that class. I'm still shocked about such a fast and furious album went mainstream.

Cos (January 22, 2008)

Really good grower album. It doesn't hit you in the face like their earlier stuff, and the production is eons better than Tyrannosaurus Hives (that one sounded so tiny and digital). "Square One Here I Come" is my favorite song of the new year, even if it did come out in 07.

greg0rb (January 22, 2008)

Album rules. Yup. If I had my way these dudes would put out albums every 1 or 2 years, not every 3 or 4 dammit! Love em.
-Greg

jacknife737 (January 22, 2008)

Great album, still, i think Tyrannosaurus Hives has it beat (just slightly). Won't Be Long is the standout track, by far.

GlassPipeMurder (January 22, 2008)

surprised people are still into this.

GreenVandal (January 22, 2008)

This album is pretty boring. All the songs are pleasant enough, but once you get past the hooks and the big riffs, you won't find anything else; it is very shallow music.

Deadpan (January 22, 2008)

Of the four leaders of this movement (the Strokes, White Stripes, the Hives and the Vines), Swedenâ??s the Hives seem to be making the most interesting music

i could not disagree with you more. while i dont really like ANY of the above mentioned bands, I find it hard to believe that you could view the Hives music as 'more interesting' than The White Stripes or The Strokes.


I'd have to agree with this statement. The White Stripes so far appear to be the only band that have attempted anything remotely leftfield (this album aside, since I haven't heard it, although I don't exactly have high hopes), and even that was just boring, nappy (diaper) rash music - shitty and annoying. I could go along with saying that they wrote catchier music, but that's about it.

Maybe it's a British thing, but having had bands like this rammed down my throat by various outlets of the media for the past seven years, I can't leave space for anything other than hatred for every band that sounds like they might as well have happened 20 -30 years ago. Wank. Pure wank.

Dante3000 (January 22, 2008)

I really like this album. It does lack a cohesion though. That's what I love about Barely Legal you can put it on (when you're in the mood for it) and listen to the whole album. I find I'm often in the mood for tracks off of this album but rarely do I listen to the whole thing all the way through.
-Dante

fallingupwards84 (January 22, 2008)

garage rock gets a pass since it killed nu-metal in the early 00s, but other than that, its pretty boring

thus_spoke_sean (January 22, 2008)

Of the four leaders of this movement (the Strokes, White Stripes, the Hives and the Vines), Swedenâ??s the Hives seem to be making the most interesting music

i could not disagree with you more. while i dont really like ANY of the above mentioned bands, I find it hard to believe that you could view the Hives music as 'more interesting' than The White Stripes or The Strokes.

dropkickmurphy01 (January 22, 2008)

This is a great album! The Hives is one of my favourite bands (tied withT(I)NC) and I have always loved everything they did. I didn't like the album the first time I listened to it but then I started listening to the individual tracks a bit more and I really like the album now! My only complaint would still be the track Giddy Up, they really didn't need that song on there at all.

the4footpartysub (January 22, 2008)

yeah i really enjoyed this. i personally like "you dress up for armageddon" and "return the favour".

8dollarclarinetsolo (January 22, 2008)

i totally agree with scott about that song. it slays. but i think tracks 2 and 3 on this record are a bit better. i didnt really like tryrannasaurus hives too much, but this record is a huge return to form

maverick (January 22, 2008)

This album just didn't do it for me like the last two did. And frankly, "Fall Is Just Something Grownups Invented" is better than pretty much every song that actually made it onto this record.

-Scott

wyzo (January 22, 2008)

"Of the four leaders of this movement (the Strokes, White Stripes, the Hives and the Vines)"

media defined trends don't really classify as movements. The strokes and vines don't really fit anymore than adding in flavor of the month bands like Jet. Some like the Hives and white stripes made the old new, others just raped corpses of music past.

This record, as with the last hives record, is pleasant. Not amazing or epic by any means, but the early morning cartoon network ad with them on it is pretty entertaining. After all the self-applause they built up for themselves, they haven't topped their biggest record, but that's nothing to be ashamed of, they still rock a hook now and then.

Here's to a humble hives.

w

Branden (January 22, 2008)

this album forkin rules.

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