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The Hives

Barely Legal

Release Date: 01/18/2008
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Price: $13.99

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    Track Title

    Time

  1. Well, Well, Well 1:02
  2. A.K.A. I-D-I-O-T 2:12
  3. Here We Go Again 2:12
  4. I'm a Wicked One 1:45
  5. Automatic Schmuck 2:17
  6. King of Asskissing 1:46
  7. Hail Hail Spit N'Drool 1:27
  8. Black Jack 2:45
  9. What's That Spell?... Go to Hell! 1:41
  10. Theme From... 2:49
  11. Uptempo Venomous Poison 1:13
  12. Oh Lord! When? How? 1:42
  13. The Stomp 1:54
  14. Closed for the Season 2:34

The Hives launched the first salvo in their global assault on all that is lame in our culture with their debut album, 1997's Barely Legal, and there is little arguing that these guys had the right idea out of the gate. Emerging from Fagersta, Sweden (which, at least in 1997, was the ock equivalent of Absolutely Nowhere), the Hives set a high standard with their hot-wired fusion of garage rock tunes and punk rock speed and energy, and they hit the sweet spot just right, sounding tight enough to connect with unified force while still letting the frenzy of their forward momentum give the performances a bit of dizzy sway that indicates true ock roll. If Barely Legal lacks an obvious "breakout hit" tune like "Main Offender" or "Hate to Say I Told You So," the rapid-fire assault of these songs is impressive indeed, and this disc plays like a brick of firecrackers that refuses to stop exploding until "Closed for the Season" crosses the finish line. And while the Hives rock like nobody's business here (especially the Siamese twin guitars of Vigilante Carlstroem and Nicholaus Arson), the real secret weapon is Howlin' Pelle Almqvist, whose cocky swagger actually communicates on tape, and is the perfect vehicle for his "We are cool, you are nothing" lyrical outlook. Veni Vidi Vicious was the album that let the world know who the Hives were and what they were all about, but Barely Legal let a clued-in few know about their monumental coolness three years ahead of the game, and for sheer ock action, it's as good as anything they've put to tape. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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