Monday, August 16, 2010

American Hi-Fi


American Hi-Fi
Fight the Frequency
Hi-Fi Killers/The Ascot Club


American Hi-Fi frontman Stacy Jones established his role in the Boston power-pop canon as the erstwhile hard-hitting drummer for ’90s mainstays Letters to Cleo and later Veruca Salt. But it’s his more recent work as musical director and touring drummer for Miley Cyrus that’s exposed him to a new generation of younger fans. It’s a canny bit of synergy. The type of tempered, arena-pop-rock Cyrus plies aligns perfectly with his band’s musical outlook. The easily embraced hooks and (relatively) heavy riffing here seem tailor-made for Miley-sized arenas. And while there’s nothing here as immediately charming as previous hits like “Flavor of the Weak,’’ “Lost’’ — a reaching slow jam built on chunky blocks of guitar fuzz — is a near contender. More remarkable is Jones’s shredding vocal turn on tracks like “Frat Clump’’ and “Bullet,’’ all careening string bends and chugging rhythms that build to the type of throat-shredding climax Dave Grohl might favor. His Foo Fighters are one of the many power-pop contemporaries of Jones this record calls to mind. It’s solid work, but more important, it just may be a harbinger of the impending ’90s nostalgia wave we’ve been bracing for. (Out tomorrow)

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