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The Hives, 'Veni Vidi Vicious'

Five Swedish meatballs who dressed like Gerry and the Pacemakers by way of the Love Boat, the Hives were a cartoon rock band come to life. On their debut they made the shtick work with super-charged tunes that took pimply Nuggets-era bubblegum-blues through a Nineties garage-punk lens. On awesomely titled songs like "Introduce the Metric System In Time" and "Declare Guerre Nucleaire," frontman "Howlin'" Pelle Almquist  yowled like a Nordic white blues maniac over triple-time pummel, and on "Main Offender" they gave us a stomping power-pop anthem for the ages.

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