The dirty, loose and driving nature of the garage guitar riff can often be hard to distinguish from one tune to another, but sometimes the rev n' grind is little too familiar. That's what local musician Jason Shapiro says about The Hives “Tick Tick Boom” (off this year's Get Smart soundtrack) and his own “Why You?,” recorded first with his band The Roofies in 1997 and then with his trio Three Way in 2002.

Shapiro, best known as a guitarist for the Don Bolles glam-pop band Celebrity Skin has just filed a music plagiarism suit against the Swedish rockers. “I absolutely love The Hives and don’t feel great about suing a band I love,” says Shapiro, who discovered the similarity after friends heard the Hives tune in a movie trailer and brought it to his attention. “But I also feel credit is due where it is due if you borrow a riff.”

And lest you think that garage riffs are all the same, Shapiro tells us the two tunes were analyzed by a musicologist. “He said the part in question -the main riff and vocal melody- was very similar and its uniqueness led him to believe it wasn't just a coincidence,” says Shapiro. “He also runs it through a background test seeing if any charts from previous songs are close and we were clear on that front.”

Check out these MySpace links featuring the cuts in question and judge for yourself.



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