Hate to Say I Told You So ... the Hives Return
Ach, this new Hives (MySpace) album, The Black & White Album, ain't workin' for me.
The Hives was previously permanently ingrained in my mind as "Mick Jagger with punk swagger from today!" and something along the lines of a "real, authentic, bona fide punk group" when punk had so clearly become passe and just a produced music commodity that could never live up to the greats of the 70s and 80s again!
With this new LP, though, I doubt they'll ever be like that again.
They lost the edgy edge, man ... Howlin' Pelle just sounds like a drunk Alex Kapranos for the bulk of the album. When the band does rock out, they do it with little conviction and just sort of plod through the "thrash-y" part. Additionally, they attempt to write more melodious, pop hooks but wind up failing. The Hives are not the Strokes, sorry. "It Won't Be Long" sounds like 80s prom junk fodder taken seriously. Gah.
To make sure that I'm really not down with this LP, I dug through the archives again and listened to "Hate to Say I Told You So," and yeah, it's way better. That song is indeed nastier and grittier and hey, they do have a very catchy, very simple hook. And Mr Pelle actually does howl like he means it. And their sparse synth line sounds cool because it's reminiscent of a goofy little rave pull as opposed to a dinky electro line.