Ugly Housecoats out of 10
It's a picture of a chick in a really ugly housecoat
holding onto a wall. She's not climbing the wall, she's not peeking
through a hole, she's just holding onto it. I suppose whoever put this
together thought it was deep and meaningful, but it's definitely not
impressive. Also gone is American Hi-Fi's old logo, which had a lightning
bolt in the middle of it like AC/DC does, a nod to the old school. Now
it's just boring type. But the cover has the parental advisory stamp,
so at least they've got that going for them.
Ugly Housecoats out of 10
It's a 20 page booklet! However, the first two
panels are just plain blue. Nothing else. Couldn't they think of something
more impressive to put on the first two pages everyone would see when
they open the booklet? The rest of the pages are full of artsy photographs
and handwritten lyrics. The pictures are interesting to look at once
or twice, but some of the lyrics are damned near impossible to read.
They blend into the backgrounds too much and you can't make out the
words. The back cover of the CD is a picture of all four band guys sitting
at a dumpy looking hole-in-the-wall bar in the middle of the afternoon.
Their drinks are empty and they all look depressed, which might be a
portent of things to come if no one buys this CD.
6 Ugly Housecoats out of 10
It's pretty much punk pop stuff like what gets played on the radio a
lot these days. Some of these songs kind of rock and some of them are
annoying. The song "Built For Speed" is kind of catchy, and
a few others aren't bad at all. The band is good, but sometimes the
singer sounds like he's overdoing it with the nasally sneer. He doesn't
always sing like that so you know he's intentionally doing it, which
gets irritating. The first single from this disc, "The Breakup
Song," sounds like it could be the sequel to "Flavor of the
Weak" from their debut release. I was disappointed that it wasn't
a cover of the Greg Kihn song, but oh well. By the way, I thought the
songs on their last album were a lot better. It's not that "The
Art of Losing" is completely terrible; it's just unremarkable in
a lot of places.
Hi/Fi is fronted by singer/guitarist Stacy Jones, who used to be the
drummer in Veruca Salt. Hey, what do you know? If you put the CD into
your computer you can watch a video for "The Art of Losing ,"
which shows the band playing at a party with people making out and shit.
If you look closely, you can see one guy wearing a Dokken "Back
for the Attack" t-shirt. The band has never been bashful about
their love of old school hair bands, blatantly telling interviewers
that they grew up listening to the Motley Crues and Ratts of the world
that were once all the rage. Their last album was more of a nod to the
old school with some of the riffs and such, but still sounded contemporary
enough. Shit, the video for "Flavor of the Weak" was a tribute
to the cult film "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" and featured a
chick in a Saxon shirt. Amercian Hi-Fi very well could've been the band
that crossed the bridge from hair metal roots to today's teenagers,
but they won't do it with this disc. It sounds too much like Good Charolette
or something. These guys had better watch out with their next album,
or they'll end up being just another bunch of guys in their 30's trying
to sound like teenagers.