American Hi-Fi have been pretty much silent since their fourth full-length, ‘Fight The Frequency’, was released almost completely under the radar back in 2010, but Stacy Jones finally found some time off from his role as Miley Cyrus‘ musical director to focus on the band and create the alternative rock grown-up record, ‘Blood & Lemonade’. Former Letters To Cleo drummer Jones has found fondness in singing in a lower register with the band, progressing from their pop-rock/punk roots to a complete good-time/bad-time songwriting band with an arsenal full of musical winners.
The American Pie brand of party pop—punk served American Hi-Fi brilliantly and they were certainly keeping their own against the heavyweights with ‘The Art Of Losing’, but it doesn’t have the same effect when you’re pushing 40. The down time of the band has given them an opportunity to come back with whatever approach they wanted, and ‘Blood & Lemonade’ proves to be a developed form of the old band with some serious riffs to contribute.
‘Amnesia’ and ‘Allison’ lead the album in terms of powerful head banging rock material with segments of fast-paced tempo combined with the fun packed vocals we all expect from the Boston based four-piece. The climb back to being a band seems effortless during ‘Coma’, with a catchy hook line that could have featured in the back catalogue of the glory days of the band.
Following a surprise sold out comeback show at The 100 Club in May, ‘Golden State’ debuted the new American Hi-Fi sound as a grower of a song that featured a slower melodic side to Jones‘ writing without having to start all over. Yet, ‘Portland’ strays from the path even more with a complete change to the vocal style, used to channel Ohio indie band, Guided By Voices. There are, however, still parts of the teenage band that can’t be tamed as ‘Carry The Sorrow’ opens with a trademark singing/guitar only introduction before the song picks up when the rest of the band enter for an upbeat chorus and bridge.
The best of both worlds would see the band juggle their personal commitments with a proper return to the scene, with ‘Blood & Lemonade’ as a perfect platform to start their comeback. The album is consistently solid from start to finish with no bad songs in sight, and is more than fans could have ever asked for. The first piece of the puzzle is in line for a big 2015 for American Hi-Fi, but it’s a matter of scheduling, time and desire to see if anything comes to fruition.
Written by Michael Heath (@MikeBeef)