When you think about it, it’s kind of absurd that The Hives are even still around at this point. The Swedish garage-punk band’s fantastic breakout record, Veni Vidi Vicious, dropped in 2000, after all, and the years have not been kind to that sound since. By and large, it’s gone to smaller-but-no-less talented bands like Atlanta’s Black Lips and Memphis’ late Jay Reatard, finding appreciation in internet message-board circles and eBay bidding wars, not in the relatively posh theaters and festivals the Hives play on the regular.
But for all the things Lex Hives might not be, it’s certainly not disingenuous. Much like the band’s catalog, this record apes everyone from AC/DC to The Stooges with exuberant aplomb. And more than that, the band’s hilariously outsized ego remains gloriously unchecked, a tidal wave of confidence rushing back and forth over these songs throughout. The question, though, still remains: For how many more albums will this shtick remain interesting without some sort of boundary-pushing element to further the art contained within them?