Pin It
Favorite

CD review-American Hi-Fi 

by Mike Corrigan


From the opening guitar signature of the album's first cut, "Surround," you get the feeling that this self-titled debut from American Hi-Fi is gonna be a big, sweet, high-energy nugget of ear candy -- one that, although initially gratifying, tends to lose its appeal almost as soon as the wrapper comes off.


Just goes to show you how wrong initial impressions can be. For all its time-tested components, American Hi-Fi is amazingly durable and sounds remarkably fresh -- even pleasantly out of place -- in the current alternative rock wasteland.


The band wears its alt-pop pedigree on its collective sleeve, stylistically and otherwise. Vocalist Stacy Jones used to violate the drums for Letters to Cleo and Veruca Salt before forming American Hi-Fi with guitarist Jamie Arentzen, bassist Drew Parsons and drummer Brian Nolan.


Crackling with crisp, dynamic arrangements and youthful spunk, these 13 cuts are characterized by grand, upbeat aural statements and hooks that go down like velvety smooth premium ice cream. The usual slacker boy rock sentiments are well represented here but are conveyed with unusual verve and smarts. The band invokes numerous pop culture references along the way, occasionally allowing deeper influences to emerge (as with the not-so-subtle nod to the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" on the backing vocal of "Blue Day"). Though the writing frequently flirts with the banal (as on the dopey, un-ambitious "I'm a Fool"), it manages to land several direct hits as well (check out "Safer on the Outside" and the meaty "Scar").


American Hi-Fi is nothing less than what fun '70s AM radio fodder should have -- in a perfect, less corrupt world -- mutated into. Turn it up.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Children Will Listen
  • Children Will Listen

    How art speaks to life in this particular moment
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • So Here We Are
  • So Here We Are

    Here's hoping the new president fills the office with the grace and sense of tradition it requires
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Get Big Money Out
  • Get Big Money Out

    Letters to the Editor
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Spokane Contra Dance

Spokane Contra Dance @ Woman's Club of Spokane

Wed., Jan. 25, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Mike Corrigan

  • Lights, Camera, Skate
  • Lights, Camera, Skate

    Two local artists have transformed their love of skateboarding into a new variety show on Community Television.
    • Dec 14, 2011
  • For Your Consideration
  • For Your Consideration

    A raucous good time from Thee Oh Sees. Plus, vintage horror and a Berlin filmmaker to check out.
    • Nov 22, 2011
  • Time Travelers
  • Time Travelers

    For some local store owners, finding intriguing merchandise isn’t just business, it’s an obsession.
    • Nov 22, 2011
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • One Free Shave

    Donald Trump might have merited a honeymoon with voters had he managed his transition better
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • The Landed and the White

    How Americans followed tradition when they voted for Trump
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Comment


Briefs


marijuana


green zone


Politics


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • Planning a Heist
  • Planning a Heist

    Believe what many Idaho legislators are saying: They want to turn our public lands private
    • May 26, 2016

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation