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The Hives – Abra Cadaver

On “Abra Cadaver,” The Hives lead singer Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist makes his point in 93 seconds. Not much time, especially considering his first lyric comes 11 seconds into the track and the last few perfectly formed English words explode from his Swedish mouth at 1:07. Fifty-six ticks, less than a full revolution of the second hand.

(An aside, a luxury for which there isn’t time on “Abra Cadaver”: The Hives wanted to replicate American punk rock and ’50s soul music. The teenage members of the group grew up in Fagersta, Sweden, population 13,000. Record stores lacked… records. The Hives had images of its heroes but not their music. Nicholaus – the band’s senior Almqvist – offered Time’s Josh Tyrangiel a quote to explain the dilemma: “Sometimes, we had only seen bands in pictures or seen them on a record cover. So we had to try and figure out, ‘What does that haircut sound like?'”) [Acquire.]

(photo taken, on an iPhone, by Jesse Wright)

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