I first heard The Hives on a label sampler in 1997. The song was A.K.A. I-d-i-o-t and I found it amusing, but nothing special.
This their second album came out three years later and soon their trademark black & white attire and cocky swagger caused waves around the world.
Unfortunately they got lumped in with The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Vines etc as a part of some sort of "garage rock revival", despite having nothing in common with those bands in terms of influences, sound or bloody anything. In fact, none of those bands sound alike or have much in common. Anyone with a pair of functioning ears and any knowledge of rock history can hear that within five seconds.
I suppose just like the grunge era ten years prior where bands that also sounded nothing alike (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden) were lumped together as a unified scene, when all they had in common was that they didn't sound like the norm of the time. All backlashing in their own way against the glossy glam of the 80s. They all sounded different from the mainstream in different ways.
The "garage rock revival" bands did the same thing, a reaction to detestable fratboy jock rock that dominated the airwaves for half a decade, starting in about 1998. Y'know what I mean, Puddle Of Mudd, Creed, Linkin Park, P.O.D., Kid Rock, Staind, and any number of horrid bands.
I know it's hard to imagine a world where nu metal, rap metal and post grunge is the norm for rock music, but only ten years ago that was the case. Terrifying, I know.
(mp3) The Hives - Outsmarted
(mp3) The Hives - Supply and demand
Buy it @ Amazon.com.