American Hi-Fi

Blood & Lemonade

Written by: PP on 04/10/2014 17:53:29

Ladies and gents, this is how career musicianship sounds like. The new American Hi-Fi album - their 5th full length overall - is about as safe and radio friendly alternative rock as it comes, despite still containing a few hints to early 2000s pop pun in the mix. But does that necessarily mean it's going to be a bad record? Usually yes, but not always as they prove on "Blood & Lemonade", their best effort since 2003's "Art Of Losing". Four years ago, when the band released "Fight The Frequency", they were plagued by inconsistency that left most songs sounding totally anonymous and boring in comparison to the hit song or two that helped lift the album from complete mediocrity.

On "Blood & Lemonade", then, the band have opted to experiment with their expression ever so slightly. The sugar-coating has been removed, resulting in a comparatively darker sound that feels less poppy and a bit more depth-laden. Let's not kid ourselves here though, it's still a fairly superficial pop rock / mainstream alternative rock record, but at least the songs feel like they have some content, which has not always been the case with American Hi-Fi songs in the past. Here, "Golden State", "Coma", "Wake Up", and "Allison" (which has a Foo Fighters vibe to it) are all very catchy tracks that suggest that the band still have something to offer. "Amnesia" is another example of a darker track with its hard-hitting guitars that feel oddly heavy on an American Hi-Fi album, yet the song transforms into a catchy chorus where the vocals are brighter and easily sing-alongable.

The perfect production means it sounds like a hundred thousand dollars is behind the band as the distortion resonates fully in the soundscape, but for once, it doesn't sound like a soulless corpse as many other commercially oriented records like this. The reason is simple - the songs are very good so they have life even without raw edge. That said, in the end this is super safe radio-friendly pop rock, so it's not going to appeal for anyone no matter what. Still, a bunch of good songs they've written this time around.

Download: Golden State, Wake Up, Coma, Allison
For the fans of: The All-American Rejects, All Time Low, Fenix TX, Foo Fighters
Listen: Facebook

Release date 09.09.2014
Rude Records

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