Audacity // Butter Knife
Recommended Track: Hole in the Sky
Listening to Audacity’s third full length album, I’m struck by its lack of freshness, comparable to opening up a packet of cold cuts that’s three days past its expiration date. I’m not nostalgic for the mall-punk that was marketed to faux-hawked tweens in the early 2000s, and while Butter Knife isn’t quite as bad as that, with a few modifications to guitar tone and vocal styling it could very well be a more mature Less Than Jake’s comeback record.
I don’t mean to deter anyone from actually purchasing this album. There’s a place for this type of music. Bands that rely on their frenetic energy always sound better live, and maybe belong that way–a band that belongs in the garage. I remember this with a strange sort of inverted nostalgia. “Cold Rush” might be the best song on the album, with some unusual chords ringing out and vocals that lie just below obnoxious, the call and response of early emo bands mellowed and 60s-fied, backed by floor-tom heavy drums sounding as though they were played by a more muscular Maureen Tucker.
Other standout track, “Hole In the Sky,” smacks of early Weezer with lyrics about being a teenager, liking a girl and making out in the back of an Astrovan. All of those things aren’t so bad, and maybe I’m being a little too harsh on Audacity. They seem like nice fellows, they play four chord songs in major key tonalities, and they actually seem to enjoy life. It isn’t their fault my adolescence was mostly made up of reading books and crying.
A review’s raison d’etre is bias. There’s nothing technically wrong with this band, the mixing is solid, they all seem like they’re having fun, and I’m sure they go to a lot of house parties. Regardless, I still give Butter Knife a PG-13 rating with a shelf life of two years. If you are going to buy something from Audacity, I would suggest the Finder’s Keepers EP (Suicide Squeeze) over this. I hope I wasn’t too audacious in my review of these formulaic OC garage punks, but they might want to choose a different quality to name their band after. It’s November and summer’s gone.