Feature

The Hives

The Black and White Album

The Hives
The Black and White Album
(Octone)

***

The Black and White Album won’t rival the albums it references—the Beatles’ “white album” and Jay-Z’s The Black Album, said August Brown in the Los Angeles Times. But it proves the Hives to be more than a one-trick band. Since breaking out of Sweden’s garage-rock scene, the band has never shown a lack of self-esteem. From 2002’s Your New Favorite Band to 2004’s Tyrannosaurus Hives, the band “becomes bigger with every album,” and this one was originally titled: The World’s First Perfect Album. With their identical, monochromatic outfits and egomaniacal stage names, the Hives had all the marks of a novelty act, said Ben Rayner in the Toronto Star. But they knew it was getting old, so they’ve come back with 14 songs chock full of jaunty hooks, pogo-ing beats, and “shouty choruses that live on for weeks.” At its best, The Black and White Album sounds like a greatest-hits record made up of entirely new material. Spanning the decades, “T.H.E. H.I.V.E.S.” evokes the days of disco while “Giddy Up!” channels the electro-weirdness of Devo. The Hives live up to their “larger-than-life” attitude, said Nick Duerden in Spin. With “a little help from unlikely friends”— producers Pharrell Williams and Modest Mouse’s Dennis Herring—the Hives hold their place as a “good time party band without peer.”

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