Hives, The - Lex Hives 12"
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Five years is a long wait between albums for almost any artist, but especially for a band like the Hives, who seemed to have such a tight grasp on who they are and what they do that they could practically churn out cartoonishly catchy garage punk in their sleep. However, 2007's The Black and White Album, which found the band expanding its sound and collaborating with Pharrell Williams, among others, was equally inspired and muddled, so it's not surprising that the Hives took some time to retool following it. It also makes sense that Lex Hives, the band's first self-released album, is by and large a return to form: the pounding toms that kick off the album's 66-second opening blast, "Come On!," lets listeners know that driving snotty melodies home hard is priority number one.