Somewhere, surely, Randy Fitzsimmons is fuming.
There was this brief moment between the time Veni Vidi Vicious came out and the time, more than a year later, when the Hives got famous, where it seemed like they were going to become a completely different sort of band. The flipside of the original "Hate To Say I Told You So" single -- the one that came out on Gearhead -- was a weird, Kraftwerk-like instrumental called "The Hives Are Law, You Are Crime." It had keyboards and drum machines on it. This was in 2001, before 9/11 and "House of Jealous Lovers" and all that shit.
Of course you know the rest: pausing only to make a couple of amazing videos, they eventually became freakishly successful and then decided to make a great punk-rock record instead of becoming pop stars.
So what the hell are they doing on the new Timbaland jawn?
Well, to be honest, not much. "The time has come!" howls Howlin' Pelle, while a single-string 'lectric-blooze lick winds around his ankles. That's about the only words the Hives get in edgewise: a few seconds later, Timbo bellys in, lobs a 120-bpm WMD at the dance floor, and pushes both the beat and the band before him, like a man throwing someone out of his house. Then he loops the guitar, steals the mic, and starts fast-rapping like Twista. There is a whirlwind of chest-thrusted consonants shaking like strippers in mid pole dance, and then it's over, and Pelle is hamming up an adlib as he's being escorted from the studio.
What this means for Timbaland, you imagine, is a message: "I can work with anybody!" What it means for the Hives is less clear, although it's nice to know they're alive.
DOWNLOAD: Timbaland feat. the Hives, "Throw It On Me" (mp3, via BPF)