September 2, 2010

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American Hi-Fi, Fight the Frequency
Red General Records, Aug. 17
This Boston emopop band is so industry-podded they might as well be from L.A., but that’s actually a good thing, finally some locals embracing such show-biz-hack customs as taking any exposure-bagging gig they can get instead of turning up their Berklee noses and pretending they’re not in it for chicks. In this case, Hoobastank-soundalike frontman Stacy Jones is Miley Cyrus’s former music director, and the band’s songs have been heard on Dawson’s Creek, 24, the 2002 Winter Olympics commercial for Coca Cola, things like this. Cursory examination of these tunes elicits weary mumblings about the usual Good Charlotte/Taking Back Sunday suspects, but once into the guts of it we detect Tommy Tutone by way of Green Day (“A Taste For Crime”), which may not set the emo world on its ear, but it’s nevertheless a nice changeup given that there’s still an emo world to endure in the first place. Despite the plain-vanilla jolly-geek vocals on the title-track, it’s musically ambitious, taking some unconventional roots-rock turns during its 4 minutes, one of several things that make AH-F less uninteresting than any of the recent Hoobaclones that have so oafishly fouled this desk with same-same filth. A-Eric W. Saeger