American Hi-Fi has been on the pop-punk scene for quite some time now; they formed in Boston in 1998, and will be releasing their fifth studio album, Blood & Lemonade, on September 9 via Rude Records. The album brings back that early 2000s vibe when pop-punk was on the rise and had videos on MTV. It’s been four years since their last release, Fight the Frequency, so the band has had plenty of time to perfect the songs and display their talent as veterans in the genre.
Blood & Lemonade kicks off with “Armageddon Days,” and the nostalgia immediately hits. Remember how catchy “Fat Lip” by Sum 41 was (and quite honestly, still is)? That’s how this album is. The album title comes from the same line heard in “Armageddon Days,” which also has a catchy hook. It’s a great start to the album and immediately sets the tone. The first single off of the album, “Allison,” has guitars and vocal melodies that blend to give you some great power pop, which has proven successful for the band in the past with their hit “Flavor Of The Weak.” Going back to what they know and what they’ve seen success with in the past is part of what makes this album so enjoyable and nostalgic.
Some of the other notable songs on the album were “Coma,” “Amnesia,” and “Portland.” They’re the ones I found myself wanting to listen to repeatedly. The album ends with “No Ordinary Life.” It starts off slower than the other songs on the album, but it was a solid song overall. I think it may have worked better maybe towards the middle of the album, since it was a slightly different tone/pace. That’s really my only criticism on the album, because I thoroughly enjoyed it. Prior to this album, I hadn’t listened to American Hi-Fi on a regular basis, but Blood & Lemonade has made me reconsider that. This is another great album from 2014 to add to my list.