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Tyrannosaurus Hives

Tyrannosaurus Hives

4.0 4
by The Hives

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Success hasn't spoiled -- or, seemingly, had any effect whatsoever on -- these garage-stomp fashion plates, as borne out by this spastic, silly, and downright scorching disc. As might be expected, Tyrannosaurus Hives positively bursts with brutish guitar rock -- the opening "Abra Cadaver" kicks things off with two minutes' worth of channeling the ghost of


Success hasn't spoiled -- or, seemingly, had any effect whatsoever on -- these garage-stomp fashion plates, as borne out by this spastic, silly, and downright scorching disc. As might be expected, Tyrannosaurus Hives positively bursts with brutish guitar rock -- the opening "Abra Cadaver" kicks things off with two minutes' worth of channeling the ghost of Stooges past -- and the sort of timeless R&B-tinged punk that is the Hives' meat-and-potatoes. The latter element is served up most effectively on the stop-start "Walk Idiot Walk" but also kicks in nicely on the purposefully primitive "Missing Link." The Swedish quintet do throw a few new ingredients into the mix, such as the creepy-crawly violin lines that strafe the appropriately titled "Diabolic Scheme" and the joyfully cheap sounding synth that pipes through "Love in Plaster." The attitude, however, remains blissfully unchanged, thanks to Howlin' Pelle Almqvist's tongue-in-cheek bombast (not to mention a passel of winking in-jokes, keyed by the hidden bonus track "The Hives Meet the Norm"). And "the norm" couldn't be further removed from -- to borrow a phrase from the band's own self-description -- the "punk rock avec kaboom" delivered here.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
It's clear that a lot care goes into the Hives' seemingly immediate, fired-up sound: this is a band, after all, that has only released three full-length albums in its 11-year lifespan. While the 2002 collection Your New Favourite Band ended up winning the group many more fans thanks to its fortuitous timing with the garage rock revival craze (and also ended up being the band's most consistent release to date), it didn't do much to disguise the fact that the Hives hadn't released a new album since 2000's Veni Vidi Vicious. Two years later, Tyrannosaurus Hives arrives, and proves that the band isn't just a fossil from the days when everyone (or critics, at least) thought that the Hives and the other bands lumped in with the rock revival were going to change the face of pop music. It may have taken the Hives awhile to follow up Veni Vidi Vicious, but they didn't waste any time: Tyrannosaurus Hives is half an hour of highly compressed, high-contrast rock that is far and away the band's best album. As usual, the band's motto seems to be "get in, rock hard, get out," and the album's opening tracks, "Abra Cadaver" and "Two-Timing Touch and Broken Bones" -- which boasts a chord sequence that sounds like a sped-up version of Paul Revere & the Raiders classic antidrug rant "Kicks" -- cut right to the chase. But, as with the rest of Tyrannosaurus Hives, these songs are more focused explosions than the nonstop firepower of "Hate to Say I Told You So" and "Main Offender." While recording the album, the Hives mentioned that they were especially inspired by Kraftwerk. Even though nothing here sounds like "Pocket Calculator" and the band hasn't forsaken its black-and-white dress code for Teutonic black and red, that band's influence is indeed all over Tyrannosaurus Hives, most literally on the breakup lament "Love in Plaster," which borrows a motorik beat and squiggly keyboards. More importantly, though, it's noticeable in the band's precise playing throughout the album and particularly on the single "Walk Idiot Walk," which initially sounds downright subdued compared to the Hives' previous singles, but eventually reveals itself as just a more elongated and tense deployment of their forces. Fortunately, this tightly engineered sound doesn't get hamper the band's energy; if anything, it offers a better platform for Pelle Almqvist's howling, especially on "No Pun Intended" and "Dead Quote Olympics." The refinement of the Hives' sound shows up in other ways, such as the excellent new wave soul rave-up "A Little More for Little You" and "Diabolic Scheme"' string-laden wails. Tyrannosaurus Hives might be a little more complex and polished than the Hives' earlier work, but it's not overthought at all; even though they've evolved, they know how to keep it simple, stupid. Crucially, the band remembers that garage rock is supposed to be catchy as hell as well as cleverly dumb, and even their toughest songs have hooks aplenty: "B Is for Brutus" has wonderfully prickly, reverb-drenched guitars and impatient pianos egging it on, and "See Through Head"'s silly "uh-uh-uh-uh-oh!" refrain just adds to its caustic charm. Songs like these once again prove how neutered-sounding most mainstream punk-pop (and indeed, quite a bit of nu-garage rock) really is. But the Hives lead by example; they were going before garage rock became a fad, and Tyrannosaurus Hives shows that they'll be able to keep going long after the fad has faded.

Product Details

Release Date:
Interscope Records


  1. Abra Cadaver
  2. Two-Timing Touch and Broken Bones
  3. Walk Idiot Walk
  4. No Pun Intended
  5. A Little More for Little You
  6. B Is for Brutus
  7. See Through Head
  8. Diabolic Scheme
  9. Missing Link
  10. Love in Plaster
  11. Dead Quote Olympics
  12. Antidote

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Hives   Primary Artist
Christopher Öhman   Strings
Nicholaus Arson   Group Member
Howlin' Pelle Almqvist   Group Member
Chris Dangerous   Group Member
Matt Destruction   Group Member
Vigilante Carlstroem   Group Member
Andreas Forsman   Strings
Rebecca Karlsson   Strings
Johan Morén   Strings
Henrik Söderqvist   Strings

Technical Credits

Jana Gustavsson   Engineer
Pelle Gunnerfeldt   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Mikael P. Eriksson   Cover Illustration
Hives   Producer,Artwork
Randy Fitzsimmons   Composer
Björn Yttling   String Arrangements

Customer Reviews

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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Effective whiz-bang production. An excellent stew of bleep-blop New Wave, Rock & Soul, and -- of course -- stompin' Garage goodness. Highlights include the white-hot punch of "Abra Cadaver," the precision-machined press of "Walk Idiot Walk," the sweet-natured Robo-Soul of "A Little More For Little You," and the sharp, spooky, string-laden grind of "Diabolic Scheme." Hot stuff. Their strength lies in their musical references. It's obvious: These guys like various kinds of music, and they don't mind amalgamating. A splendid asset, really. Next up to touch on: Gang of Four-style Funk, and Dovid Bowie-like Plastic Soul. Reading this, guys? Go for it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In their latest CD, the Hives take their God-given talent to rock and take advantage of it to the fullest extent.This album is smarter,wittier than 'Veni Vidi Vicious', though it seems more commercial.LONG LIVE THE HIVES!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago