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That buzz around the Hives was only the beginning. As fans eagerly await the Swedish super group’s new release, promised for early this year, a whole pack of Nordic rockers have ventured forth in their icy wake. The Soundtrack of Our Lives, a Swedish garage rock group, will strut their stuff on “The Late Show with David Letterman” come mid-January, and the rockers in neighboring Norway are just getting started. Moon-eyed crooner Sondre Lerche, a Norwegian prodigy barely out of his teens, made many critics’ best-of-the-year lists with the Sixties pop sound of his album “Faces Down,” while two Norwegian electronica groups are poised to break through in 2003: Röyksopp, a dreamy duo who just released “Melody A.M.” and Flunk, fronted by singer Anja Øyen Vister. While Flunk’s latest release is called “For Sleepyheads Only,” Vister’s punchy Björk-like vocals are a real wake-up call.

Hi-Tech Hero

This story first appeared in the January 7, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

We can’t wait for “The Matrix” sequels either, but Neo and Trinity aren’t the only ones in slick leather this year — though they may be the only ones in black. Ben Affleck, for better or worse, dons an oxblood-colored jumpsuit in “Daredevil” opposite Jennifer Garner, and the Terminatrix (Kristanna Loken) also goes for oxblood in “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” opposite her nemesis Claire Danes, who remains in plainclothes.

Expect more special-effects-wielding superheros in “X-Men 2,” “Hulk” plus high-octane car antics in “The Fast and the Furious 2.” But after “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” one question remains: can any of them top Smeagol?

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