The Hives

Veni Vidi Vicious (Sire í00) Rating: A-
Often compared to other recent "The" bands like The Strokes, The White Stripes, and The Vines, The Hives smartly bash out 12 songs in 28 unpretentious minutes here. Less is often more, and it certainly is in this case, 'cause even though this album is simplistic and one-dimensional, it's also energetic and exciting, and it's over and done with before you can get sick of it. Veni Vidi Vicious dishes out appealingly raw blasts of rock n' roll, most of which sounds like it was bashed out live in the garage. The boys must've worked up a nice sweat in their fancy suits, as the tempo only occasionally slows somewhat ("Main Offender" and "Hate To Say I Told You So," the latter the albumís best-known song), in particular on a surprisingly successful cover of Jerry Butler and Curtis Mayfield's "Find Another Girl." Elsewhere, fast songs and screamed vocals, often in tandem with catchy backing chants, are the norm, as the band rushes from song to song, barely pausing long enough to catch their breath. It helps that the lyrical ideas are amusingly (as opposed to irritatingly) immature, with quotable lines like "too messed up to even mess around" and "learned a lot about the company dough, learned less about receiving it though." Of course, simple songs about being young and obnoxious can only stay fresh for so long, and it will be interesting to see if this Swedish band will continue to progress, or if they'll simply repeat the same formula with inevitably declining results. Either way, songs such as "Die, All Right!," "A Get Together To Tear It Apart," "Statecontrol," and "Knock Knock" are absolute blasts, as are all of the aforementioned songs, making Veni Vidi Vicious one of the most unpretentious and fun albums of 2000.

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