The Hives have long been a staple of all that is punk, short, hyperactive and LOUD! Since their inception in 1993, The Hives have been amazing both audiences and critics alike with both their stellar live shows and studio albums. They are known for being fast, loud and crazy, which is why I was somewhat disappointed with the oft methodical ‘Lex Hives’ or as the band states, the law according to the Hives.
Opener ‘Come on’ has a great beat, with crisp, enthusiastic drum work, however Howlin’ Pelle’s vocals shows a strain not seen in previous times. This continues as a trend through the album, sometimes with great effect, such as in the song ’1000 answers’ which is a stand out on the album. The lyricism is great, the delivery punchy. This song is made for getting psyched before a wild night out on the town!
‘Lex Hives’ is a lot more teched out than previous offerings, utilising voice distortion and even a little canned audience. In some songs, such as ‘Patrolling Days’ the tech is used to great effect, really supporting the dynamic nature of the song In others, less so.
With the longest song running at 4 minutes, and the entire 12 track album lasting all of 31 minutes, ‘Lex Hives’ holds true to the compact stylings of true punk. The band sow a vast and technically impressive skill set, ranging from their usual garage punk style, to an almost swing and western feel. The Hives have produced a very varied and skilled work of craftsmanship, even if lacking a little energy.