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The Hi-Frequencies

Money Isn't Everything
Teen Regime Records

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"Hey, money isn't everything!" bellows vocalist Jayson Brooks, a quarter of the way through the Hi-Frequencies' latest long-player. "It's the only thing!" Pull the band's CD out of its plastic jewel case, and the currency fetish theme repeats itself once again: Hidden beneath the disc is a tiny line drawing of a pile of golden coins, radiating light. So you'll be forgiven for assuming that the Hi-Frequencies are simply another money-grubbing rock 'n' roll band, clawing furiously for a piece of the million-dollar industry pie. However! As one of Pittsburgh's premiere old-style surf rock and R&B bands, that couldn't possibly be further from the truth. Throughout Money Isn't Everything, the supremely soulful quintet manages to radiate the sort of class and style that most other retro surf-rock groups can only brag of, and often untruthfully. Which isn't to say that Money is a particularly complicated album. On the contrary, fans of revivalist surf rock such as The Phantom Surfers or Huevos Rancheros will find mostly familiar material here. It's the fairly recent addition of soul-singer Brooks, though, that lends the Hi-Frequencies its slightly more exotic and flavorful edge -- that and the perfectly clean guitar lines on instrumental tracks such as "California Ave." and "Sloppy Joe Pt. II." In other words, here's a rock revivalist act that actually does deserves its own pile of gold -- and what's more, the players are based right here, in our own backyard. Enjoy.

 

 

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