Following on from Whale who I looked back at recently, this is another rather bizarre rock group from Sweden (I do have to wonder what’s happening up there) who caused a stir in the 2000s. This is a group who are notable because some music magazines at the time made sure that they received the great honour of “most overhyped group of the week”.
I do wonder how this was determined sometimes, maybe they put every group who had a single out that week into a hat, and whoever they picked out were put on to the cover, and were determined to be the new big thing. But in the case of The Hives, who had actually been around since the mid-90s, they were worthy of the hype, because they really were a crazy bunch of guys!
What stood out about them was that they all dressed the same! One of them had a moustache! One of them appeared to be a question mark, and his actual role in the group (if indeed he existed at all) was the cause of much speculation for about five minutes! What more could you need? Oh well, maybe actually the music might help somewhat.
They really burst on to the scene in February 2002 when “Hate To Say I Told You So” was released, and this reached no. 23. Hooray, rock is back! I bet that Gareth Gates and all of those other so-called pop stars were shaking in their shoes and horrified because they were all about to be swept out of the chart at last by the big rock revolution!
It was no surprise that their totally crazy frontman, the man they call Howlin’ Pelle, was soon rivalling Sven-Goran Ericsson as the most famous Swede in this country, or something. And their album, the rather cheekily titled “Your New Favourite Band”, soon began to live up to its title and accelerate up the chart. Next in May 2002 was “Main Offender”.
This one was rather remarkable, because the vocals could be described as Squealin’ rather than Howlin’, and this reached no. 24. This also soundtracked a lingerie advert starring Kylie Minogue that definitely got the pulses buzzing. They returned in July 2004 with “Walk Idiot Walk”, which reached no. 13, to become their biggest hit single in the UK.
And their album “Tyrannosaurus Hives” was their second to make the Top Ten. So it was a surprise that their final two hit singles didn’t make the Top 40, and their 2007 album “The Black And White Album” didn’t do as well as the others. They haven’t been heard of much since, but for a brief moment they did live up to the huge hype, coming across as entertaining and unpredictable.