The Hives, ‘Insane’ – Song Review
Talk about a bonus track! The tune ‘Insane’ will turn up on deluxe versions of the Hives‘ forthcoming fifth album, ‘Lex Hives’ (out on Tuesday, June 5), and fans of the Swedish garage rockers would be — pardon the pun — insane not to pick it up.
‘Insane’ isn’t the most original track in the world — in fact, it’s not even an original at all; it’s a Dragtones cover. But the Dragtones — a Swedish rockabilly band that not-so-coincidentally features Hive Vigilante Carlstroem — seem to know how to write a ‘Nuggets’-inspired nugget. ‘Insane’ manages to take a well-worn subject matter (mental instability) and a couple common guitar chords (G and C, it sounds like) and turn them into something that comes across as a familiar classic, even if you are hearing it for the first time.
That’s a little trick the Hives have been turning for a while now. Pulling off punk-pop powered garage rock in the year 2012 is a challenge — there are only so many ways you can memorably combine a few barre chords — but the Hives have managed to craft many catchy, foot-tapping anthems over the years.
And like the band’s most best cuts, ‘Tick Tick Boom’ and ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’ among them, ‘Insane’ is instantly memorable. Unlike any of their previous output, ‘Insane’ features production from John Homme of the American stoner rock outfit Queens of the Stone Age, who had the band visit his Pink Duck studio.
“Basically if you have the best of American rock and the best of European rock in a room together, you owe it to the cosmos to make some music happen,” Hives frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist immodestly recalls of the experience. “We basically just wanted to talk about the Misfits with our friend and steal his recording tricks!”