In the charming Mo Willems' childrens' book Edwina, The Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct, the title character goes around town making people happy, blissfully unaware that dinosaurs should no longer inhabit the earth. When a know-it-all in need of an audience explains to her that she should be extinct, she buys his arguments but just doesn't care. She just goes on having fun, and even her lecturer joins her.
Substitute "garage rock" for "dinosaur," and you've got the story of the Hives. They burst onto the scene a decade ago as part of the third wave of garage. The White Stripes appeared to be the only long-term survivors of the fad, and even they've broken up, and not before Jack White repositioned his duo as blues revivalists. But armed with unflagging bravado, especially by satirically arrogant lead singer Howlin' Pelle Almqvist, the Hives have kept chugging along, blissfully unaware that there won't be a Grandchildren of Nuggets compilation. And, like Edwina, they go around making people happy by putting on great shows. "Go Right Ahead," the lead track from the new Lex Hives is their raucous take on ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down," and it is just as energizing as any of the highlights from their breakthrough album Veni, Vidi, Vicious.
The Hives play the House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, (888) 693–2583 at 6:30 on Saturday, June 23.