Monday, January 24, 2011

Hi-Fives - The Hi-Fives and a Whole Lotta You - 1997

Green Day introduced a new generation of punk rockers to the raucous joys of the early '60s Kinks, updating the groovy beats, massive choruses, and solid hooks of the British Invasion bands with a welcomed dose of adrenaline and a bit of '90s snarl. The Bay Area quartet the Hi-Fives goes a step further in the history lesson, completing the package with mod haircuts, three-button suits, vintage guitars and drums, and a second album featuring 16 irresistible tunes, only two of 'em over two minutes long (and those just barely). In the old-fashioned liner notes, the Fives proudly proclaim themselves "beat punks," acting as if they invented that term. It's questionable how deep their knowledge of the genre is-these guys are no obsessives like the Milkshakes or the Funseekers-and their choice of cover tunes betrays their age. (They tackle "Bad Connection" by Yazoo and offer a version of "Tainted Love" inspired not by the Standells, but by Soft Cell.) Nevertheless, their instincts are solid, and there isn't a single song on And A Whole Lotta You! that doesn't make you want to sing along, if not pogo in place. Tunesmiths John Denery and Chris Imlay don't have a lot to say-the songs are mostly teen takes on love, lust, and love lost-but they say it well. "You're not just like any other / You're better than a Chet Atkins album cover," they croon on the title track, backing up the sentiment with a frantic beat and a horny sax solo. And how can anyone argue with that? -Jim Derogatis



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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of the greatest, cheers!
jim

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