The Hives “Veni Vidi Vicious”
Best Rock Album
The following was originally published in our Collective section under
the Raw Rock Revival Special.
Review by Keavin Wiggins
One night late last year, I was standing
outside the Cat Club in Hollywood smoking a cigarette and as often happens
when you’ve had a few beers and are in a festive mood, standing around
killing time waiting for the headlining band to come on, you strike up
a conversation with the closest total stranger. Turns out the person I
began speaking with was in town on holiday from Sweden. I can’t recall
his name, but I remember the conversation like it was yesterday.
I’m always interested in music scenes from
around the world, what’s hot at a local level in hopes of catching on early
to the “next big thing”. So I asked my new found drinking buddy what the
Swedish music scene was like and he said, “Oh, you are thinking ABBA, right!
We will never live that down!” I laughed and said, “No, it’s not like that.”
I explained that in fact the CD we just a few days earlier proclaimed album
of the year came from a band from Stockholm called Prime STH. He said he
had never heard of them, I told him not to feel bad, practically no one
in the US has either! Then his face lit up as he started to explain that
the best band in Sweden that he was into was called “The Hives”.
I remembered hearing the name before but had never heard their music. He
became even more animated and started to proclaim that The Hives were going
to be “HUGE!”
Intrigued, I asked them what kind of music
they play and he said, “dirty power-pop” sort of like the New York Dolls
or Iggy Pop. I automatically thought of The Strokes who were beginning
to get buzzed about at that time. I asked him if they were similar to the
Stokes and he replied, “Yeah, but a lot better and more raw!” At about
that moment the headlining band struck their first chord, so we ended our
conversation and went inside but I didn’t forget the conversation and made
a mental note to myself to be sure and checkout The Hives.
Here we are several months later and it
turns out my drunken friend may have been right. The Hives weren’t a new
band at all; they have been around for almost ten years and had already
released a few albums and EP’s. But it wasn’t until earlier this year that
they landed the opportunity to take things to the next level with a major
label deal. Maybe it was the buzz and initial success of the Strokes that
caused Warner Brothers to offer The Hives a deal? That’s not important,
what is important is the fact that with WB behind them they were able to
break into the mainstream consciousness. Unlike their fellow Swedish rockers
The International Noise Conspiracy and The Hellacopters, The Hives were
offered the chance to breakout from the underground. Critical praise is
great and all but selling lots of records is better!
We now come full circle. At the moment
the band my drunken friend proclaimed would be the ”next big thing” are
starting to see some success in America. With the power and promotional
muscle of Warner Brothers behind them The Hives are currently making a
slash in the US and turning heads with the major label re-release of their
2000 album, “Veni Vidi Vicious”.
Like the White Stripes, The Hives borrow
liberally from “The Stooges” making their music more “punk” than any of
the other “raw rock” revival bands and easily the heaviest in the bunch.
to samples and Purchase this CD online
a friend about this article
What Do You Think?