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The Hives : Walk Idiot Walk

Another in their 'things shouted by schoolteachers' series of titles...

Everyone has a favourite Hives. Mine's got to be the midget bassist because he has: a) the nicest manners and

b) a totally shameless moustache.





It takes gall and flair to get away with a 'tache like that. These, however, are two qualities that the Swedes have patently never lacked.





Take 'Walk Idiot Walk': although clearly assembled

from broken bits of old records found in the bins round

the back of the Music & Video Exchange, the Fagersta Five's big-time comeback single still sounds fresh, exciting and like no-one else so much as, well, Hives. Yes, the sleigh bells are nicked from 'I Wanna Be Your Dog'. Yes, there's an old '60s girl group record somewhere with missing handclaps. Yes, the guitars sound like they were recorded using only authentic electricity left over from the Three-Day Week. In fact the sole bit of virgin territory that Hives are charting here lies in the lyrics - a quick Google search reveals that 'Walk Idiot Walk' is only the fourth ever English-language song to employ the word "putz" in a verse. As one of those songs was by novelty rap-metallers Insane Clown Posse, it's safe to assume that 'Walk Idiot Walk' is also the best ever English-language song to employ the word "putz" in a verse.





But I digress. Criticising Hives for being thieving

one-trick pony retromonkeys is missing the point: the

very foundation of their greatness lies in the fact that they're thieving one-trick pony retromonkeys. They are slick. They are stylised. They write catchy tunes, many

of which sound like one of their other catchy tunes. There is little more that you could want. Sure, no-one's really

sure how to do the Idiot Walk, but it's probably like a

cross between The Funky Chicken and The Caterpillar.





Once we've cracked it we'll let you know. Until then,

you should play this until your stereo surrenders.

Pat Long

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