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The Hives, ‘Go Right Ahead’ – Song Review

The Hives
Chris Hyde, Getty Images

The Hives have never been about breaking new ground musically. The Swedish band has flown the flag for raucous, fuzzed-out garage rock ever since their 1997 debut. That, and their energetic live shows, has long been a part of their appeal. June 5 will see the release of ‘Lex Hives,’ their fifth album and first since 2007′s ‘The Black and White Album.’ The first single, ‘Go Right Ahead,’ has been released to radio.

While three-chords-and-a-cloud-of-dust remains a great aesthetic for rock n’ roll, The Hives have always gotten by more on their onstage charisma than their songwriting. It’s much more fun to see them live than listen to their records, and ‘Go Right Ahead’ is no exception.

The problem with the single is that blatantly rips off Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘Don’t Bring Me Down.’ It’s the same four-note riff, with the song’s title sung against it in the verse. The chorus and bridge go in a different directions, but there’s no getting around the lift. And it’s not even as interesting as ELO’s No. 4 hit from 1979, either.

Of course, it’s still the Hives, so it’s loud and brash and fun and you can break into a sweat listening to it even in the middle of winter. But Jeff Lynne, who wrote ‘Don’t Bring Me Down,’ may have a case for plagiarism here, which would be a pretty ironic thing to happen to a group that wrote a B-side called, ‘The Hives Are Law, You Are Crime.’

Does ‘Go Right Ahead’ Sound Like ‘Don’t Bring Me Down?’ Listen and Judge for Yourself

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