Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Hives

  • Veni Vidi Vicious [Sire/Burning Heart/Epitaph, 2002] A-
  • Tyrannosaurus Hives [Interscope, 2004] ***
  • The Black and White Album [A&M/Octone, 2007] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Veni Vidi Vicious [Sire/Burning Heart/Epitaph, 2002]
These Swedes know the great selling point of the Voidoids was the guitars they can't come near, not the vocals they irremediably recall. How dumb--if it was that easy some emo kids would do it. The Hives explode where a hundred other punk bands are proud to rock. If they're not openhearted like Rancid they're also not cute like Green Day, who dominated that punk revival anyway, and I'll take their wage-slave rants over the Strokes' ass-man ennui any day. Really, so what if Max Martin writes 'em? A-

Tyrannosaurus Hives [Interscope, 2004]
Don't care about "going down no in no history," thus wiser than those who think it matters that they won't (only they may) ("Walk Idiot Walk," "No Pun Intended"). ***

The Black and White Album [A&M/Octone, 2007]
Approach the debut's perfectly conveyed and controlled illusion of headlong desperation, then lose their cool ("You Got It All & . Wrong," "Well All Right!"). ***