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The Hives

Tyrannosaurus Hives (Interscope)

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If brevity is the soul of wit, then the Hives are bursting with guffaws. Though the band's third disc clocks in at a speedy 30 minutes, the wing-tip-sporting Swedes pack enough herky-jerky bravado and manic energy to make a past hit like "Hate to Say I Told You So" sound like a funeral dirge.

As before, the quintet's garage punk is flavored by Rolling Stones-inspired hurtling ("Walk Idiot Walk"), British Invasion mod shimmying ("A Little More For Little You"), and squirming retro synths ("Love in Plaster"). This doesn't mean that Tyrannosaurus sounds stagnant: The fuzzed-up "Abra Cadaver" equates to a triple-shot of espresso chased by ephedrine, while "Missing Link" heatedly rails against the drudgery of everyday life. Menacing spy strings, Howlin' Pelle Almqvist's guttural yelps, and irresistible wordplay ("The suckers sing -- prolific depth or static cling?") make "Diabolic Scheme" sound like a James Bond theme for tortured intellectuals. Smart, spastic, and succinct, the Hives should be -- as one of their previous album titles cheekily asserted -- your new favorite band. Again.

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