American Hi-Fi - Blood & Lemonade (Cover Artwork)

American Hi-Fi

Blood & Lemonade (2014)

Rude Records

I have never been a fan of American Hi-Fi. Yeah, I remember when Flavour of the week came out, a fun catchy song, but that's about it.

This time, though, the first single “Allison” got me curious, so I decided to give Blood and Lemonade a few virtual spins. And, well, I'm glad I did. What do we have here? It's a simple punk-flavoured pop-rock album, with a very good production just rough enough and plenty of great hooks and melodies. The songs vary from mid-tempo to faster anthems like the bouncy “Wake up”, one of my favourites, which could be a good Foo Fighters tune. The album is very consistent and the vibe stays more or less the same from the low-fi drumming which opens “Armageddon Days”, to the slower (and arguably a bit too nickelback-y) “Ordinary Life”. It sounds like summer and sun to me, with a vague idea of nostalgia and longing. This is particularly clear in “Portland”, the softest number and possibly my favourite. Other outstanding tracks are “Carry the sorrow” and “Golden State”, straight-up powerpop, and “Killing time” which is almost stoner and shows an unmistakable QOTSA influence in the obsessive repetition of its one-tune guitar riff.

“Portland” in particular, but other ones too, remind me a bit of the last Offspring album Days go by. You won't come here for a life-changing listening experience, nor for a rush of overwhelming emotions, but if you're looking for a collection of sing-alongs, ready to be sung at the top of your lungs in small clubs (I hope) when the band hits your town, you needn't go further than this.