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The Hives - Your New Favourite Band

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Poptones – 2001 – 28 minutes

The newest next-big-thing, The Hives, are the band that look set to save Alan McGee's limping Poptones record label from extinction – but they're not about to change anyone else's world.

Swedish by birth and punk rock by choice, 'Your New Favourite Band' is a 28-minute breathless race by The Hives through the best of their first two albums and a scattering of b-sides. Formed in mysterious circumstances in 1993, allegedly by svengali, songwriter and elusive sixth member Randy Fitzsimmons, The Hives have built up a reputation as an electrifying live band.

Now with a selection of two-and-a-half minute pop tunes, singalong choruses, and a cocky, self-assured swagger, Vigilante Carlstroem, Nicholas Arson, Dr Matt Destruction, Chris Dangerous and Howlin' Pelle Almqvist are ready to take on your speakers. Songs like 'Main Offender' (used as the soundtrack to the banned Kylie/Agent Provocateur advert), current single 'Hate To Say I Told You So' and instrumental closer 'The Hives Are Law, You Are Crime' kick off, say what they have to say (nothing very profound, especially in the case of 'The Hives are Law…'), and end just before they've worn their welcome out.

Like skinny white boy New Yorkers the Strokes and the red and white co-ordination of the White Stripes, the Hives come complete with a very deliberate style (black and white outfits, in this case) and their own take on the past. If the White Stripes reach back to the bluesmen of the last century and the Strokes are the new Ramones, then the Hives are the Stooges for people who are too young to know any better.

The Hives live up to the claim on their website that they "are giving you punkrock music avec kaboom" – just don't expect anything new. It's squealing, spitting and guitars a go-go, all over again.

Caroline Hennessy

Tracklisting: Hate To Say I told You So - Main Offender - Supply And Demand - Die, All Right - Untutored Youth – Outsmarted - Mad Man - Here We Go Again - A.K.A. i-d-i-o-t - Automatic Schmuck - Hail Hail Spit n' Drool - The Hives Are Law, You Are Crime

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