You know something weird is going on when an act from Sweden (!?) sounds like good ol' fashioned American punk. Although the Hives are not alone in this (the Hellacopters have a similar sound and also hail from Sweden), these guys have pulled off a decent effort with Veni Vidi Vicious.
Granted, it's not very original--think 3/4th Ramones, 1/8th Stooges, and 1/8th early Rolling Stones. However, it's fun, ballsy, and unpretentious and the lyrics are an unabashed slam on the 9-to-5 corporate life that most of us lead. What's not to like? Vocalist Howlin' Pelle Almqvist is loud, brash, and a little out of tune but that only adds to the charm. The rest of the band plays with intensity behind him, firing off 2-minute punk salvos that are instantly likeable, if a little repetitive.
Highlights include Die All Right!, A Get Together To Take It Apart, Main Offender, Knock Knock, and Supply And Demand. The weird departure Find Another Girl is the lowest point of this album, but it quickly picks up again.
Veni Vidi Vicious is not spectacular stuff, but it's refreshing elixir in a music industry consisting of boy bands, nu-metal, and substandard grunge copycats. If you like this, other good albums are the Strokes' Is This It and the White Stripes' De Stijl.