If there was ever a worry of the Hives maturing— or simply becoming less like the Hives — there isn't anymore. They've been Epitaph garage phenoms, million-selling "next Strokes," brief MTV warhorses, brittle Kraftwerk competitors, and chopped-and-looped Timbaland and Neptunes guinea pigs. Between 2002 and 2004 they were arguably every bit the world's greatest band that they've always claimed to be. And now with a heavy hive they return to the indies. Thank the Lord, they haven't loosened a screw. Scabrous as ever, Howlin' Pelle Almqvist howls, "I've got a thousand answers/One's gotta be right/Give me a thousand chances/And I'll get it right," early in Lex Hives, which clocks a dozen songs at just over a half hour and rips off such inspired sources as "We Will Rock You" and "Back in Black" on one track ("I Want More") and "Surfin' Bird" the next ("Wait a Minute"). Several moments even resemble sped-up Dion or '60 girl groups. The novelty this time around is that almost the entire album is built around call-and-response hooks, some of which even run behind an entire song, as in the single "Go Right Ahead" and 68-second opener "Come On!," whose two-word title covers, yes, the entire lyric.
THE HIVES | House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston | June 23 @ 5:30 pm | All Ages | $25 to $35 | 888.693.2583