The Hives The Black And White Album

The Hives The Black And White Album
The three-year wait for new Hives material has been nerve-wracking. When last effort Tyrannosaurus Hives was issued, the Swedish quintet were quite vocal about their frustration with becoming the "next big thing.” As a result, they opted not only to continue on the beat-heavy, new wave-inspired drive of 2000’s Veni Vidi Vicious but also began branching out into uncharted territory. Apparently they liked the idea of slipping into dancin’ shoes and creating eerily synth-heavy songs that melded the world of children’s music and pop because The Black And White Album is a continuation of that overt strangeness. While the record kicks off with the band’s inherent garage punk’n’roll via radio-friendly single "Tick Tick Boom,” as the effort unfolds so does the band’s obtuse intent. The performances are spot-on and the crispness of the album is perfectly in keeping with their previous major label releases. However, one is somewhat shocked to hear the Studio 54-ish disco funk of "T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S.” and "A Stroll Through Hive Manor Corridors,” which would fit perfectly into the soundtrack of a late ’60s art film. The Black And White Album is mostly typical new millennium Hives, yet with age come more unusual and somewhat unnerving sonic forays. Then again, those are the same aspects that keep them timelessly fresh and entertaining. (Interscope)