The Hives – The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons

The Hives - The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons



3.8/5 Pros

  • Some great rock tracks
  • Very cool, snotty and dirty sound Cons

  • Some songs rather weaken the story of the albvum

The story behind the album title The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons is a bit of weird and macabre. The Hives are a Swedish rock band, whose founding member and songwriter Randy Fitzsimmons did not want to be in public (or never existed). Recently, an ad guided the map to an imaginary grave, in which the band found tapes with demos and the words The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons. Weird story from the Västmanland region or just good marketing? I don’t know – but I can at least judge on their music. The album with the spooky name has been released in 11th August 2023.


The Hives – About The Artists

The Hives have been founded in 1993 in Fagersta, Sweden. Apart from the mentor Fitzsimmons already mentioned, the band consisted of Howlin’ Pelle Amqvist (civil name: Per Almqvist, vocals), Nicholas Arson (Niklas Almqvist), Vigilante Carlstroem (Mikael Karlsson, both guitar), Chris Dangerous (Chrstian Grahn, drums and percussion) and Dr. Matt Destruction (Mattias Bernvall, bass). Only the bassist has been replaced in 2013 by The Johan and Only (Johan Gustafsson). While the band’s first two albums just had limited success, the 2004 Tyrannosaurus Hives did not only top the domestic charts, but sold well all over Europe, Australia and the United States. Also the following two albums were successful. However, the band went on a hiatus from releasing albums with the 2012 Lex Hives release. Thus, this album is the first one after more than eleven years.


The Hives – The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons – Track by Track

The twelve song album lasts 32 minutes.

1. Bogus Operandi

The opener, which has also been a single release, kicks off the album with a lot of energy. The song is powerful, but also cheeky and a bit of dirty. Just like a good rock should feel. The fade-out might have been stronger if they shortened it, though.

2. Trapdoor Solution

The second track just lasts 64 seconds. However, you just cannot see it as an interlude only. It is just a damn fast rock’n’roll track. Trapdoor Solution is doing rock music like doing a 100 meter sprint in track & field.

3. Countdown To Shutdown

Due to the short second track, it is a fast transition fro, the opener to the second single release. Countdown To Shutdown is having a great groove and is a fabulous showcase for The Johan and Only on the bass. Fun song, with has a lot of party and live show potential.

4. Rigor Mortis Radio

One characteristic of this album is that many songs are surprisingly short. Thus, there is a lot of variety and always something new happening. The next two tracks, for example, are both shorter than 2:30 minutes. Rigor Mortis Radio however does not leave too much of a mark. The pop-ish clapping rhythm is the song’s main feature.

5. Stick Up

Especially due to the very present backing choir and the brass-alike background, the short Stick Up is adding some new sounds and features to the album. Especially the stomping-marching hook of the song leads to a nice catch.

6. Smoke & Mirrors

Smoke & Mirrors is a catching, fancy rock song. Again, the choir-alike arrangement of the vocals lead to the desire to sing a long with the band. The melody is just that intuitive, it stays in your mind.

7. Crash Into The Weekend

After you sang to Smoke & Mirrors, you clap your hands to the very present rhythm of Crash Into The Weekend. That’s definitely the most present part of this song. I would love to tell more about it.

8. Two Kinds Of Trouble

Two Kinds Of Trouble reminds me a bit of the opener. It again comes with the cheeky and forceful style of Bogus Operandi, which leans towards punk rock. The song has a nice plot with quite some interesting elements towards its end as well.

9. The Way The Story Goes

The ninth track starts with some synth orgy and then turns into a snotty and dirty rocker. The Swedes rather sound like a really talented school band than a band with decades of experience. But they are masters of snottiness and thus I like The Way The Story Goes.

10. The Bomb

2:19 minutes of The Bomb – it is time for a sprint track again. The band is giving full speed and is not stopping until the song is over. The crowds will get mad when this song is performed on stage.

11. What Did I Ever Do To You?

After this quick listen, the second last song feels like a relaxing, slow one. On the melodic side, the song is majorly driven by synth lines. Not a bad song, but What Did I Ever Do To You? just does not work well in the context of the other songs.

12. Step Out Of The Way

The great finale makes it in just less than 100 seconds. You know what that means – especially Chris Dangerous has to work hard on the drum kit. However, it is again just a short effort – so let’s have a short and hard party with the last song of the first The Hives album after eleven years.


The Hives – The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons – Spotify

Here is The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons on Spotify:


The Hives – The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons – My View

I love when The Hives are rocking. It is cool to have the Swedish band back in the studio, back on a record. Overall, the album is really nice – but some songs just don’t work out or even feel a bit of disturbing. Nonetheless, it is quite amazing what kind of cultural heritage Swedish people find in graves – which likely don’t even exist at all. Overall, a nice experience.

Favorite Song: The Bomb


Swedish Music

Here are all my Music & Media postings related to Sweden. about Germany 2023

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