The satorially elegant, explodingly energetic quintet from Sweden known as The Hives are nothing more than an updated version on all things garage rock. This is not criticism, this is a fact. They have the same breakneck pace, the same distorted attacks and the same lyrical playfulness as their predecessors. As a live act, they're more fun than a very large barrel of monkeys and cause massive dehydration in audiences around the world.
This collection, ostensibly a 'greatest hits' even though they'd only released one album and a few EPs prior to the release of Your New Favourite Band, this is the album that broke them around the world. The Hives recipe for success involves twin dirty guitars, a bombastic rhythm section and the vocals of aptly named Howlin Pelle Almqvist and they don't fuck with the formula.
Opening with probably their most popular track, Hate To Say I Told You So, they power through a set of songs, most coming in under the three minute mark, just like good garage punk should do. In fact, their musical assault is so relentless, most of the tracks on this collection clock in under two and half minutes. You can safely bet the word 'ballad' doesn't exist in The Hives lexicon. And nor should it. If this doesn't motivate the listener, box 'em up because they're dead.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
So not my new favourite band, I can't tell you. The opening song, which was quite big for them as I recall, is pretty cool. But the rest is a mash of same-sounding fuzz guitar and unintelligible lyrics, and not just because they're Swedish. Bah.
VERDICT: THROW IT OUT
For more information: http://www.thehivesbroadcastingservice.com/