American Hi-Fi

Fight The Frequency

Written by: PP on 01/08/2010 06:54:58

That's right, American Hi-Fi are still around. In fact, they never even disbanded; Maverick Records (Warner) just decided to opt out from re-signing the band after 2005's rather mediocre "Hearts On Parade". In case you're not in the know, this is the band that recorded the radio megahit "Flavor Of The Weak" at the beginning of last decade, an anthemic pop punk song that you're sure to have heard somewhere even if you don't recognize the title. For the last five years the band has been working on their fourth full length album "Fight The Frequency" on and off, switching labels at least once (that we know of) in the process. They've now tried Warner, Universal, so why not go with one more major: Sony? I guess it'd be hard to release music as predictable and mainstream as they do elsewhere and still be successful.

Little has changed since "Hearts On Parade". The band still flirts with pop punk just enough to make them relevant for this website, but truth be told, they're mostly a pop rock / very poppy alternative rock band at heart (har har see what I did there?). This is especially evident in the mainstream verse/chorus/verse/bridge/chorus structure in all songs, be it a ballad like "Where Love Is A Lie", or a slightly more up tempo track like "Acetate". They're still quite a bit more interesting than your typical American radio rock band, however, and here's why: the dark/bright dynamic. This is something that the band takes heavy advantage through singer Stacy Jones' voice, as he is equally capable of raising his voice to youthful and bright pop punk pitch as he is of deeper singing, which shows a much darker side to American Hi-Fi than we're used to hearing. I'm not sure it works as well as the former, however, because the best tracks on "Fight The Frequency" are, by far, the pop punk tracks, such as the title track and "Acetate". That said, when he takes it to the extreme (relatively speaking, of course), and throws in some distortion and screaming such as on "Frat Clump" and especially on my favorite "Bullet", it does seem to work this way too.

But still, it's hard to get over the fact that the songs are rather dull and forgettable for the most part, like a major label album with the hit singles and rest filler. But I guess you can't expect anything more complex or artistic from a band who shares 75% of its members with Miley Cyrus' band. The point is, this is a pure mainstream alternative rock album and you should treat it as such. Expect a couple of solid tracks and a bunch of average ones, which makes the album more or less a dead on

Download: Fight The Frequency, Acetate, Bullet
For the fans of: The All American Rejects, Sugarcult, SR-71, Fenix TX
Listen: Myspace

Release date 17.08.2010
RED Distribution/Hi-Fi Killers

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