In the wake of Skate Punk led by groups such Blink-182, NOFX and Sum 41, a new wave of Punk (no pun intended) emerged around the turn of the century to impress and capture the spotlight. Produced by the legendary producer and long time collaborator with Metallica, Bob Rock, this ought to be an interesting listening experience. It received mainly positive reviews upon release. Let’s take a listen to it.
The album begins with Surround which begins with some ear-piercing feedback before a guitar riff enters. It sounds relatively okay, although the guitars are quite distorted on this song. Once the song gets underway, it does sound rather quite good, even if the musical context is not the most original. It’s not supposed to be but is an enjoyable song regardless. There is a weird slide guitar solo to listen to, and this sounds not unlike something that could have been on the American Pie soundtrack. The song itself is about the nature of music itself, ending with some chaotic sounding instrumentation before finishing nicely. Good job.
Following is Flavor Of The Weak which is the biggest hit from this album, and it is easy to hear why. It begins with crashing hi-hats, pounding drums and loud guitars. It is easy to hear why this was somewhat successful as a song and is memorable. A really nicely melodic and Poppy song about teenage dating and issues, with a very memorable chorus that is a must-hear. There is an expressive guitar solo here that sounds really cool and reminds one of the messed up opportunities in relationships, we have all been there. Great tune and a must-hear if you dig Punk Pop. Very, very good. Worth repeat listens.
A Bigger Mood sounds great from the beginning, with some excellent guitars and drums that are perfectly matched to each other. The singing here is enjoyable and audibly good, with a natural sounding delivery. This is a great Punk Pop bliss and it just sounds really great. It’s about conflicted emotions, which is perfectly matched with the music at hand. The midsection has some groovy bass and guitars with some expert drumming, followed by a guitar solo that sounds gloriously good. Some sound effects on vocals and guitars follow before this song finishes up. Nice effort.
Safer On The Outside begins with electronic drumbeats, some strummed acoustic guitars and clean electric guitars with soft singing over the top. It quickly launches into a furiously loud song, which tos and fros from quiet/loud and stop/start, following a tradition leading back to Nirvana. This song may directly refer to sex in a way, but is a good listen nonetheless. It sounds more like Grunge than Pop Punk, to be fair. It’s a bit of an awkward fusion of music but nonetheless is a good and decently melodic listen. Great to hear all the same, even if it is somewhat musically flawed. Interesting tune.
Next is I’m A Fool beginning with some energetic drum rolls, Punk-Pop guitars and a lively atmosphere of music to listen to. It sounds a lot like Blink-182, which is different. It’s a nice piece of teenage romance set to music that sounds really cool and incredible. A fun, enjoyable and energetic piece that can induce headbanging, this does sound really awesome. This is where good music delivers, and American Hi-Fi do an excellent job of being creative and providing interesting musical creatures. The guitar solo is really cool, as is the lyrical story and cool adventure here. Really cool and clever music, this does sound very uplifting. Nice job guys. Fun listening.
Following is Hi-Fi Killer which has some electrifying guitar playing, thunderous drums, clanging bass guitar and some great singing. This is a short and sweet piece of music that is quite cool and energetic throughout and is a song about troubled emotions. It is likely about the sound that these guys make, and just sounds really energetic and excellent. An uplifting piece with many twists and turns, this sounds really awesome and punchy. Another great tune to listen to, and very impressive.
Blue Day begins with guitars and maracas. The guitar playing itself here is very nice, sounding energetic and original. It’s an upbeat Poppy song about being in a bad state of mind. Still, it sounds really good and is interesting and exciting listening, especially for those who dig Punk music. There is a quirky guitar solo to enjoy as well, before going into a very interesting midsection with fragments of guitar feedback and a uniquely sung piece. Really awesome, it samples some chanted harmonies by The Rolling Stones towards the end, with a touch of The Verve styled sounds to it as well. Excellent, it ends with some interesting guitar work. Nice job.
My Only Enemy begins with some bizarre guitars and some heartfelt singing about holding a grudge. It is a really great piece of suspenseful music that is very much melancholy, but decent melancholy at that. The screaming in this song is intense, and this piece of music is really amazing and excellent. The second half sounds very direct, before going back into singing/screaming, loud guitars and pounding drums. A really emotional listening experience, and a great song at that. Different.
Next in line is Don’t Wait For The Sun begins with some soft acoustic guitar, melodic lead guitar playing and subtle drumming, with a smooth vocal on the top of it all. This piece does sound super irresistible to listen to, and just sound really laidback and interesting for this album. A really chilled and adventurous piece of music likely inspired by Psychedelic music of the late 1960s, it quickly launches back into Punk music styled frenzy in the second half. Nice to hear some experimentation on this recording, it sounds really cool and different. A very decent and enjoyable listen and is very singalong. Great and interesting effort.
After that is Another Perfect Day which begins with some nice acoustic guitar that sounds really pristine. It then launches into quite a beautiful piece of music about relationship issues. It quickly launches into a great piece of music that is anthemic and enjoyable. A really cool and enjoyable listen, it sounds tremendously good. There are interesting guitar soloing sections, along with crashing drums. Drumrolls kick in to repeat the chorus nicely, and the whole thing does sound very good. Decent tune.
Scar is next, beginning with some great drumming and drop-tuned guitars. It has a semi-Thrash feel to it and sounds more deep and melodic listening for those who enjoy Punk music of any sort. It’s perhaps not as good as other songs on this album, but still, it sounds fitting and consistent with the rest of the album. Despite any flaws, this is in no way skippable. A really forward-thinking song, the wah-wah guitar soloing here is insane. It sure does sound great. After the solo is some loose guitar parts, simple singing and a return to the chorus. Fun listening, warts and all.
What About Today is next, and sounds more upbeat and positive from the beginning. It has a cool Punk style intro, before launching into an almost Reggae guitar part with some great vocals over the top. A really interesting listening experience, just like the rest of the record, it sounds top and awesome. This is a short and sweet tune that is likely overlooked, as well as the album. It delivers superbly and just does what it does very well. A very cool tune, all the same, it ends with super overdriven guitars, a nice touch.
Following is Wall Of Sound which is quite a lengthy piece at nearly six minutes long. It has an eerie feel to it and sounds different compared to the other songs on the album. It has a nicely constructed atmosphere and sonic production that is quite unlike the rest of the album. Still, this song does sound really quite cool. It just delivers very well and sounds just like a really cool piece towards the end of the album. Note that this is the last track on the original album release. A warped guitar solo adds some flavour to these songs before some vocals and drums come back crashing in. A really excellent job, this is a great and amazing listen to finish off the main album with. It has an extended guitar solo at the end with a long fade out. This is followed by some silence for around 30 seconds.
The bonus track Black Satellite – Demo sounds warped and listenable and is indeed a very good demo. It sounds awesome and is likely a lost gem of the group’s. Anyway, it sounds really great and is an uplifting and different sounding piece of Punk-Pop that serves its purpose. An energetic and pacing listen, this does sound really great. A nice addition for those who dig American Hi-Fi. It ends with sound effects and overdrive on the guitars.
This may not be the best representation of Punk Pop music of its time. However, despite that, this is a very good album and recording for those who dig the melodic sounds of this sort of music. It comes innovation and fresh energy into this style of music, making it a worth listen indeed. Highly recommended for those who dig west coast of USA Punk music.
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