Audacity - Juvajive (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Juvajive (2014)

Burger Records

Audacity have been rampaging up and down the West Coast for seven years now, carving out their own little niche at the intersection of garage rock and punk. Their latest release, 2013's Butter Knife found them approaching what you could call a "mature" sound, where the band finally embraced the so—Cal melodies and pop—punk that they had been flirting with since their inception. But, recently, Burger records and Cut rate records have unearthed their 2007 debut, Juvajive, which was only released as a few test pressings and found the band in their teenage scrappy phase.

The nine track album barely breaks the twenty minute mark and like the early punk classics, there's more energy than planning here— and that's wonderful. The band blasts out one 150 second stomper after another, embracing a raggedy, distorted guitar sound while the vocals are washed away in white noise. It's brash and chaotic and sounds just like what it is— some young dudes in high school making a wonderful racket.

Though, to be fair, this isn't purely typical of high school recordings. Even at their young age, the band shows a deft ability craft a sappy hook and then blast it out of the room. Even more so, the band knows how to edit. The really short tunes make as many twists as the long ones and the longer ones don't over stay, or undersell their welcome, betraying the fact that while these tunes might sound sloppy, they're precisely sloppy.

The band shows flashes of their inspirations. "Teenage Town" has the marching bad hooks of the Dead Kennedys and "I killed Gerald Ford" merges that berserk whimsy of the Adolescents with the twisted humor of Angry Samoans. But, while there may be inspiration here, it's likely by osmosis. Too often bands end up aping their forefathers. Instead, here, Audacity just go with what's inside them, even if it was placed there unknowingly as they skateboarded around a pool.