It’s a tired, predictable and lazy trope, but “the more things change, the more they stay the same” feels a lot like it was written solely for Swedish garage-rock heroes The Hives. It was 26 years ago when they debuted with “Barely Legal” but for most in the States, it wasn’t until 2000’s “Veni Vidi Vicious” that the quintet truly made their mark. No matter. Their sound didn’t change in the three years between those first two records and it certainly hasn’t changed now that they’re back with “The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons,” a raucously fun half-hour set that reminds those who may have given up on the group how much those listeners have missed them.

And that would be fair. It’s been 11 years since the band’s last effort, 2012’s underrated “Lex Hives.” Since then, the band’s bassist, Dr. Matt Destruction, left them due to health reasons, and they regrouped with a handful of standalone singles throughout the decade. This 12-song shot of adrenaline more than makes up for time lost, however, as brevity continues to be the name of the game – only four songs eclipse the three-minute mark while a pair come in at less than two minutes. What’d you expect? It’s the Hives. Cut the fat. Move on.

That’s what they do here with the excellent one-two punch of opener “Bogus Operandi” and “Trapdoor Solution.” In case you forgot how much these guys specialize in bloodying a face in less than five minutes, this blazing opening duo reintroduces the band in aggressive, candy-coated fun. Those tracks then give way to a shot of rock reminiscent of their early 2000s heyday, “Countdown To Shutdown,” perhaps the most accessible song of the bunch. “It’s an enigma wrapped in a riddle / And shrouded in a mystery,” singer Howlin' Pelle Almqvist asserts at one point and the irony is precisely as knowing as it sounds. Despite the group’s goofy show biz elements, their style has been anything but mysterious.

Need proof? Check “The Way The Story Goes,” which recalls the Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy,” while reminding everyone The Hives actually perfected that aesthetic first. Ditto for “The Bomb,” which is as fuzzed out as anything you’ll hear in the year 2023. It’s controlled chaos or deliberate panic or whatever other modifier you want to use for such fast-paced, unapologetic power rock. “What Did I Ever Do To You?” might slow things down a bit, but the attitude – a Hives signature – is still there.

It's all to say that even when things stay the same, sometimes change isn’t necessary.

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