Audacity // Juvajive
Cut-Rate Records/Burger Records
Recommended Track: 5 People in the Bedroom
After years of backtracking, haggling and perhaps a bit of divine intervention, Audacity were finally able to solve the case of the missing test pressing. Juvajive is the Fullerton punks’ long lost ode to Orange County anarchism, middle class malaise and giving zero fucks. It’s packed with just the kind of effortless cool you’d expect on a high school mixtape from a bunch of misfits turned Burger Records darlings. Though a bit simplistic at times, this is just well executed, melody-driven punk fun.
Songs like “Rama Donna”, “Mode” and “Teenage Town” would end up on later releases in different formats but none of them retained that same coarseness from the original 2007 recordings. Combining the insanity of early Reatards with the structured chaos and punchy bass lines of Crystal Antlers, Audacity slay their way through nine tracks of lo-fi goodness. “Five People In The Bedroom” sounds like a Dangerhouse burner that could’ve been a Black Randy b-side while “I Killed Gerald Ford” is a slam dancing Republican hit job equally against Beats By Dre and conservative authority. On “Desert Man”, they don’t play quite as fast as 80’s speed demons The Middle Class, but they get pretty damn close. Orange County was once the bastion of snotty, breakneck hardcore and Juvajive continues that storied tradition. By the time the curtains close with “Mode”, you’ll be too rattled from self-induced head banging fits to realize it’s already time to flip the record.
I usually tend to favor the early works of bands I enjoy and this brief (but satisfying) release is no different. The energy and initial excitement of Audacity’s first recordings just never really got matched after the success of Power Drowning. Mellow Cruisers and Butter Knife have their moments but neither capture the nervy joyride and unbridled rawness that is Juvajive. Their most crude and least postured record also happens to be their most inspiring and frenetic. Complete with hand drawn artwork and kitschy black and white candids, Cut-Rate Records (in collaboration with Burger Records) have done a fine job releasing this album just as it might’ve looked nearly eight years ago.