We've been marvelling these past few weeks that our old favourite band, the Hives, have managed to weather their sales-dip (unwarranted, as Tyrannosaurus Hives was fucking brilliant) without missing a beat: having fully embraced their commercial instincts, they made lemonade out of that Timbaland-collabo lemon by selling it to the WWE (see below) then snuck a sneak peak of their forthcoming single into a Nike commercial (see above). Now comes word that they'll play the Middle East in Cambridge on October 14 (huuuuge sigh of relief: this means we won't have to shell out to see them play the Garden the following night), with tickets going on sale this Friday, August 17, presumably at 9 or 10 am. We expect the MidEast show to be completely sold out by the time High School Musical 2 airs that night.
As we were pressing "publish" we also noticed that the Hives have just announced the title of their new disc -- The Black and White Album, a fantastic title which manages to trump Metallica, the Beatles, and Jay-Z in one fell swoop -- as well as its release date (Oct 8 UK, Oct 9 US), plus the identity of the first single, "Tick Tick Boom" (yes, the one from the Nike commercial) which will be available for iTunes download . . . in less than 48 hours. Of course, you can hear it right now via someone's crappy cellphone. Our first impression: a little on the genericky-Hives tip, but catchy enough to make us psyched for whatever comes next. Like maybe Pelle in Vanity Fair? Sweet. For those of you who can't wait until then, Hives fan community has YouTube links to unreleased/potential-album tracks here. And the Hives themselves have posted a wonderful teaser that mimics the old Metallica intros when they'd come out to "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." See here:
DOWNLOAD: The Hives, The Black and White Album teaser (QuickTime) (or, for you iPod-video peeps, .m4v):
In this interview, Pelle tells NME, "Sometimes it felt like we were making Chinese Democracy," and that there are songs the feature "only piano and fingersnaps." Various reports have had the Hives collaborating with rap and pop producers for TB&WA, which has been making us nervous. The Tim thing was a total bust, and historically, garage-band collabos with big-name producers have ranged from things like this to . . . well, things like this. It's more than a little disconcerting that they were so willing to turn the enthralling lettrist/situationist animation of their best video into a thinly-veiled Sin City ripoff for an embattled pro-wrestling franchise. "Tick Tick Boom," though, sounds like their best Veni Vidi Vicious goodness, and since the best anyone's been able to offer up in the garage-rock arena is Black Lips (fine band, very funny, best song titled, not surprisingly, "Veni Vidi Vici"), and since some group called Belanova has had a monstrous hit everywhere else in the world by pairing a singer who looks like Amy Winehouse with a band that are dead ringers for the Hives, the time seems ripe for a reclamation of the throne.
Someone save us a seat at the side of the stage.
p.s.: The Middle East is letting loose with a bonkers fall schedule; the following also go on sale Friday: