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The Hives: Tyrannosaurus Hives

The Hives: Tyrannosaurus Hives

Genre:Hard Rock/Metal

By Robbie Whelan | Posted 8/4/2004

The meticulous, no-nonsense way Sweden’s the Hives play punk and garage rock reeks of European neatness. Even their attempts at dirty guitar crunch and Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist’s hoarse shrieks sound Ikea designed.

Tyrannosaurus Hives, their third full-length, marks a return to the band’s furious Stooges side, with bare-bones guitars and sparse production. Their 2002 Veni Vidi Vicious lumped the Hives in with a wave of White Stripes hype, and the ostensibly straight-ahead punk Vicious was mislabeled garage. Now, that tag fits better: Tunes like “Abra Cadaver” and the single “Walk Idiot Walk” sound more “Search and Destroy” than “White Riot.”

The running theme of Tyrannosaurus’ 14 tracks, which last all of 30 minutes, is that the 9-to-5 life is monotonous and evil. Every day’s the same, Almqvist howls in “Missing Link,” and work has “got you by the neck,” so it’s understandable that you “got into trouble again.” The implication is that such is exactly what these black-and-white-clad bad boys did themselves—rejected a dependable, secure job at dad’s herring fishery for the viciously loud life of the Hives.

We’ve heard that one before, from bands with more authoritative voices, but to their credit the Hives have rewritten the old story so well, with wrathfully tight rhythms and brutal lyrical pathos, that it sounds almost too easy for them. They’ve pirated old themes and inched them closer to perfection than before. And isn’t that, in the end, what Europeans do?

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