June 14, 2012 / Leave a Comment
The Hives – ‘Lex Hives’
Record Label: Disque Hives
Producer: The Hives
Released: June 5, 2012
Music Trajectory Rating: 4/5
Now rocking independent status, the Hives return with an album that is the best of old and new
Right before sitting down to write this review, I scoped out a few other published reviews, namely from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Alternative Addiction, and Metacritic (links posted below) because I was curious if what I had to say had already been said. Well, let me start off by saying that what I have to say is very different from the other reviews out there. I am going to stick to my guns on this one and write pretty much everything that I was going to write before reading other reviews.
First things first: I love The Hives and I have been following them since their breakout 2nd album Veni Vidi Vicious in 2000. They happen to be one of the Endorsed Bands here on Music Trajectory. Unfortunately, The Hives take between 3-5 years to release an album (they are like the band Tool in this way) and each release is very different from the prior release, though staying in the same garage rock/garage punk genre. My personal favorite Hives album is 2004’s Tyrannosaurushives but their most complete and experimental album is 2007’s The Black and White Album.
I figured Lex Hives was going to be a natural progression from The Black and White Album but Lex Hives is very much a throwback to their older sound. Many songs on Lex Hives remind me of songs from the debut album Barely Legal and the aforementioned Veni Vidi Vicious. I’m not exactly sure if this was intentional or not but it is common for bands to try to go back to their earlier sound, if they feel this is what the fans want or the type of sound they, as a band, want to get back to. Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the band self-produced the album after deciding not to continue on with their major label, Interscope. Either way, Lex Hives will definitely appease long time fans of the band. After listening to the record several times through, I can definitely hear elements of the “newer” Hives sound (ala The Black and White Album) as well. So really Lex Hives is a best of the old and new approach.
For me, Lex Hives is solid and I am definitely happy with it. Save lead single “Go Right Ahead”, you wont find any over-the-top-good/you-have-to-hear-this-song type of songs but you will find a record that is good from start to finish. If you are any type of fan of the band, you will be happy with this album. If you aren’t a fan of The Hives, you probably aren’t going to start now. Here is to hoping that we will see the next Hives album sooner than 2016!