American Hi-Fi Still Exists? A Quick Review of FIGHT THE FREQUENCY

For every musical act that I follow long into their artistic bankruptcy—I’m looking at you, Aerosmith and Tori Amos—there are a dozen other favorites that I lose track of along the way. Such has been the case with the band fronted by former Letters to Cleo drummer Stacy Jones, American Hi-Fi.

Actually, until recently, I’d been unaware that there was even an American Hi-Fi left to follow. Their last album was 2005’s Hearts on Parade, after all. But here they are, back again, with a new disc titled Fight the Frequency.

Unfortunately, the end-result is uniformly mediocre. I’m listening to a stream of the new album via AOL Music and there is just nothing here to grab me. It’s cookie-cutter mid-tempo alt-rock, and the guys who wrote “A Bigger Mood” (one of my favorite tracks of the 2000s) can certainly do better.

Sure, the video for “Lost,” which I’ve embedded above, is a fun watch—How many American Hi-Fi t-shirts does that girl own, though, and shouldn’t she have budgeted at least twenty bucks for a single pair of pants?—but the song itself is pedestrian and uninspiring. In another day and age, it would have hooked millions of unsuspecting pubescent boys into buying the record—I won’t deny that a hot girl in a music video would have been all it took to hook me, once upon a time—but kids these days are smarter and have much more to choose from. They can find a leak, realize it sucks, and just keep the video in their favorites list on YouTube.

Listen: maybe this record would grow on me, if it had the chance. But in today’s musical landscape, where there is so much to listen to, and so much diversity amongst all that’s out there, there’s a pretty good chance that a record that doesn’t catch me on the first go-around isn’t ever going to get a second try at infecting my eardrums.

I’m sorry, American Hi-Fi, but you guys need to do better. And the band that gave us that debut album in 2001 and the more than passable The Art of Losing as a follow-up can definitely do better than Fight the Frequency.