There are few times when listening to a CD sends me into giggling state, with the exception of Bloodhound Gang. But after playing in the back up band for Avril Lavigne with Butch Walker, American Hi-Fi probably had a lot of material and a reason to make us laugh. Or maybe that wasn’t their intension at all. But I guess humor is the in the ear of the beholder.
With Weezer lightheartedness and a bit of piss and vinegar, American Hi-Fi is pure pop through and through. And it’s no wonder, just taking a look at the resume of lead vocalist and songwriter, Stacy Jones. He’s got a trail of who’s who woman musicians from his drumming past – from Tanya Donnely (Throwing Muses, Belly) and Aimee Mann, to the Letters To Cleo and Veruca Salt – but is now in the leading role.
Based now in Hollywood it seems the group has absorbed a bit of their scenery: the summer night cruising to the club on a Saturday night, the rush of faceless creatures as you stroll down the boulevard, and the invisible shield everyone dons before they leave the house. Their song’s tones have a heavy leaning towards celebration and dance floor happiness. But there are also times of reflection; taking a stark look at the superficial lifestyle and the search “for something real” in SoCal in particular, but a search that could be applied to many towns across the country, and is as timely as the new movie Crash.
Jones states in his bio (which he wrote himself, a first if I’ve ever seen one) that he wears his heart on his sleeve when it comes to penning songs. Now he’s rallied his band buddies into putting their Hearts on Parade for everyone to hear. It’s taken him some time to get here, but I think he’s on his way to forging his own path now.