Splash FM Website of the Day, 1st August 2005. Be Impressed.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Hives – Well, Well, Well.

When Einstein announced that nothing could move faster than the speed of light he had obviously neglected to take account of the tempo of Hives songs.

I often yearn for a return to the days before ADHD was invented. If little Pelle Almqvist had spent his formative years in modern day USA he’d have been strapped to a gurney and force fed Ritalin until he started churning out Dido records. Luckily for all involved, early 90’s Sweden allowed the young man free reign to front a band and take over the world armed only with loud guitars and suits stolen from raffish Italian waiters.

The Hives were allegedly formed in 1993 by the shadowy svengali Randy Fitzsimmons. However, it later transpired that ‘Fitzsimmons was a pseudonym for the band’s guitarist Nicholaus Arson. After their 1995 EP Oh Lord! When? How? brought them to the attention of Burning Heart Records, they released their debut album Barely Legal in 1997 which launched them to international obscurity.

Although the band would not receive wide acclaim until they cleaned up their sound, it’s enjoyable to hear them thrashing through 14 clattering songs in the space of 27 and a half minutes. This track in particular has all the subtlety and panache of a JML Rotary Tool Kit being repeatedly hurled against the side of the Eiffel Tower.

The Hives – Well, Well, Well

Buy Barely Legal

I don’t know if this happens to you but occasionally the mp3 pixies visit my house, boot up the computer and start downloading random songs. I have never actually seen these RIAA baiting sprites but it’s the only rational explanation for the number of tracks I’ve acquired without the slightest knowledge of where they came from. Such is the case with this surprisingly faithful ACDC cover by The Hives. I couldn’t confirm when this was recorded but the tag says 1997 so that’s good enough for me.

The Hives – Back In Black

Sunday, September 10, 2006

New Blog

As this blog shudders inelegantly towards the end of its shelf life I've decided to start a new mp3 blog (because that niche hasn't been crammed to bursting yet). All I can promise you is that there will be absolutely no songs from 1997.

Shotgun, Bastard and Dribble

Friday, September 08, 2006

Helen Love – We Love You

Channel Five first hit our screens on Easter Day 1997. A brick first hit my screen shortly afterwards. Channel Five decided that the best way to launch itself was with the now tired looking Spice Girls trotting out an uninspired, cheesy rehash of a dated pop song. This was closely followed by an ad for Chanel No.5. The public opinion of five was eloquently summed up in twee popster Adam Faith’s dying words, “Channel 5 is all shit, isn’t it. Christ, the crap they put on there. It’s a waste of space.”

It’s hard to believe it when watching the Spice Girls vacuously yelling it at the behest of the highest bidder, but the phrase ‘Girl Power’ did mean something at one time. The term was originally the rallying cry of the feminist Riot Grrrl movement of the early 90’s. It announced a rejection of and a direct challenge the violent male domination of society. Quite how the Spice Girls managed to remould is as something to shout while doing bikini shoots for Loaded remains clouded in mystery.

Before ‘Girl Power’ was misappropriated by the Spices, it was used by Welsh lo-fi rockers and Ramones obsessives Helen Love. They used it (reportedly its first use in song) in their tribute to Riot Grrrl Formula One Racing Girl in 1993. The lyrics made it clear their meaning of girl power:

I bought these boots to make you happy,
I strapped them up to turn you on.
Now I don’t care about you,
I’ve got my Huggy Bear t-shirt on.

I assume ‘Huggy Bear’ is a reference to the Riot Grrrl band rather than the adorable comedy pimp.

The lyrics of Formula One Racing Girl were reprised (stripped of the now hollow ‘Girl Power’ shouts) for 1997’s We Love You

Helen Love – We Love You

Buy Radio Hits Vol.2