A – Hi-fi Serious

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

A’s third album really should see them claw their way out of die-hard-fan-only obscurity and into the Big Time. Certainly, with the rapturous reception given to lead single NOTHING (and deservedly so), A are starting to see all that hard work pay off.

Produced by Al Clay (Feeder, Therapy?, Pixies – not a bad client list…), HI-FI SERIOUS not only rocks hard enough to please the metal kids, but has the tuneful immediacy that should see them mount a full-on attack on the charts.

If NOTHING, which opens the album in stunning fashion, was a slamming rallying call to the moshpit, then there’s plenty here that keeps that fire burning. DISTANCE and SOMETHING’S GOING ON are no slouches, and the driving, melodic PACIFIC OCEAN BLUE is surely a contender for next single.

The album’s seemingly endless supply of energy is contrasted by the relatively slower THE SPRINGS and the piano-enhanced GOING DOWN, although these are separated by the most experimental track on the album (TOOK IT AWAY, with its psycho-mixing dynamics) and catchy anti-corporate (but unspectacular) new single STARBUCKS.

HI-FI SERIOUS finishes in superb fashion with the rabble-rousing title track, by which point Jason Perry’s straining Sting-on-speed voice will have left you exhausted, exhilarated and hungry for more.

4 stars