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The Hives lookin' fine for new album and tour

for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

The Hives have always kept themselves nattily attired, and matching. But for "Lex Hives," the Swedish rock quintet's first new album in five years, the group is taking a formal turn, complete with top hats and tails.

"It was bound to happen at some point, I think; We really dig looking like a cross between Fred Astaire and Dracula," says frontman Pelle Almqvist. "They're pretty complicated to get in and out of, and really, really hot. They don't smell that great...but it does look pretty splendid."

Almqvist and the rest of the Hives, meanwhile, are happy to have a new album out after a break that saw them start their own record company, Disque Hives, and produce "Lex Hives" themselves. The group also wound up "collaborating" with onetime Electric Light Orchestra leader Jeff Lynne on a track called "Go Right Ahead," which bears a bit of sonic resemblance to that band's hit "Don't Bring Me Down."

"We wrote the song and recorded it and were really happy with it," Almqvist, 34, remembers. Then, a month or two later, someone in the band realized it sounds a lot like 'Don't Bring Me Down,' and we were like, '...what do we do?' Even if we didn't do it consciously, there's definitely a lot of similarity. We might as well admit it.

"So we figured we'd just contact Jeff Lynne and ask if he wants credit on it, basically. He was completely fine with it. I mean, he did the same thing with (ELO's) 'Showdown' and Motown, basically; it sounded like 'I Heard it Through the Grapevine,' so he had to pay Motown for it."

The Hives, Fidlar and Flesh Lights perform Wednesday, June 27, at Clutch Cargo's, 65 E. Huron St., Pontiac. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call (248) 333-2362 or visit www.clutchcargos.com.

Web Site: www.clutchcargos.com

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