October 23, 2014 American Hi-Fi – Blood & Lemonade (Album Review)
Boston, MA’s American High-Fi first came together back in 1998 and was originally known as BMX Girl. After honing their pop punk sound, their breakthrough self-titled debut in 2001 sold 750,000 within a year and peaked at 81 on the Billboard 200, assuring they were well on their way. Now established and a recognized name in Rock, American Hi-Fi returned with their fifth full-length album Blood & Lemonade. Having spent recent years with members being Miley Cyrus’s backing band and vocalist Stacey Jones becoming a touring drummer for Matchbox Twenty this marks the band’s first studio album in nearly four years. Consisting of long-time members Jones on vocalist/ guitar, Jamie Arentzen on lead guitar, Drew Parsons on bass/vocals, and Brian Nolan on drums/ vocals fans are excited to see American Hi-Fi back in action.
Blood & Lemonade begins with “Armageddon Days,” an up tempo song of doom, on trend with all the zombie apocalypse films that are popular at present, with some magnificent guitar riffs. Currently the second single off the album “Golden State” is defiant and brash immediately followed by “Wake Up” which is very commercial and youthful. The feverish pace of “Coma” is engaging, leaving the listener breathless with its verve, while lead single “Allison” races through with a more Brit-pop feel to its sound. Heavier and more typically American Hi-Fi, “Amnesia,” has an edginess that pleases and a drive that grips the listener. This leads into “Killing Time” with its perfectly timed gritty riffs, stabbing a message of rage into the listeners memory. This similar tone is also brought on “Carry The Sorrow” with an infectiously strong groove. The sentimentality of “Portland” has a sweetness and an underlying ’60s beat. Lastly as the album clocks in minutes over a half hour is “No Ordinary Life” rich in guitars, vocals and retro harmonies providing a positive end to an album that explores a mixed bag of emotions as it pushes from start to finish.
Power pop gets angry with Blood & Lemonade by American Hi-Fi. The album has plenty of energy, passion and punk attitude to please fans of all ages. Blood & Lemonade is well thought out, with talented musicians, and has a commercial edge without selling out, keeping the integrity of the song-writers intact. Featuring some wonderful production by established producer John Fields (Switchfoot, Demi Lovato), this is a very enjoyable, exhausting album, thanks to the speed and dynamism of the music throughout. CrypticRock give Blood & Lemonade 4 out of 5 star.