It’s great to hear them in good form again on Lex Hives, exuding the same bratty appeal that made them so much fun in the first place. The band continues to veer from the garagey punk of their debut toward both the new wave feel of Tyrannosaurus Hives, like the Devo-esque “Wait a Minute,” and scuffed up ’70s arena rock, especially on first single “Go Right Ahead,” which is like a punk version of E.L.O.’s “Don’t Bring Me Down.” There are still plenty of garage-punk cuts to be had, like breakneck-speed rockers “These Spectacles Reveal the Nostalgics” and “If I Had a Cent,” but it’s nice to see them mess with the formula a bit to keep things interesting — “Take Back the Toys” sounds like someone left a cassette of the band’s biggest hit out in the sun, baked into crispy lo-fi, while “My Time Is Coming” begins a blues-y dirge before tearing into it.
Pick up Lex Hives online or in-store, and check out their “What’s In My Bag?” below, in which the band digs into punk, blues, Neil Young and Mitch Hedberg. Frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist is 34 this year, but still somehow looks 18. What do the Swedes know that we don’t?
Some of The Hives’ Amoeba picks:
Mariachi El Bronx – Mariachi El Bronx II