The Hives

The Black and White Album (A&M / Octane)

Phases & Stages

The Hives

The Black and White Album (A&M/Octane)

Despite uneven attempts to branch beyond their explosive pop-punk, the Hives' fourth full-length ultimately delivers the goods. Lesser bands would kill for just one number as charged and catchy as "Tick Tick Boom," but the impeccably dressed Swedish quintet boasts several. "Try It Again" is jet-propelled by a cheerleader-style chorus, while the Pharrell Williams-produced (non-Buddy Holly cover) "Well All Right!" swings like a mod progeny of Ray Davies and Paul Weller. The album stumbles on "T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S.," a dance-oriented contrivance that sounds like a N.E.R.D. outtake, but the unabashed teeth-rotting silliness of "Giddy Up!" is at least as amusing as a high school pep rally skit. With that out of its system, the Hives get back to work on "Square One Here I Come," a dynamic lament on the rat race. Even when they misfire, the next hook is only seconds away.

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Greg Beets
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

the Hives

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle