Of all the bands swearing devotion to the Sonics/Stones/Stooges holy trinity of garage rock, the Hives have always seemed to have the most fun. Unhindered by the Strokes' penchant for rock-star cliché or the White Stripes' Machiavellian creepiness, the Hives reveled in the simple pleasures of three chords, a bare-bones snare, and front man Howlin' Pelle Almqvist's caterwauling on 2000's Veni Vidi Vicious. True, that formula wasn't particularly innovative to begin with, nor do Tyrannosaurus Hives' quick, rat-a-tat detonations of sound (12 tracks in just under 30 minutes) add anything all that new to either the Hives' repertoire or the garage-rock canon.
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But who cares? When the Hives rip through "Abra Cadaver" with little more than a single chord, like some kind of rowdy, Saab-driving gang of hellions, I defy you not to nod your freaking head. -- Rachel Devitt