When Californian garage punks Audacity turn up, they make some noise in the literal and the thought-provoking sense. With the announcement of fourth LP ‘Hyper Vessels‘ – their first album since 2013’s ‘Butter Knife‘ – the four-piece dropped ‘Dirty Boy‘, a gut-punch of rock n roll and anthemic determination. Reminding us just how incisive the group can be, second single ‘Umbrellas‘ shows the charismatic presence behind the relentlessly instinctive sound. 

Displaying a thicker, fuzzier sound than on previous records, the group have bulked out their melodic lines and off-kilter chords with a thump – successfully carrying the attitude and wit of the themes that they probe. The band know precisely where to inject the melody – straight into the venomous choruses, appearing out of nowhere with a hammer of reaction just when the melancholic elements of the verse begin to overwhelm.

It’s impressively concise in it’s delivery, each snarl of guitar is met with Matt Schmalfeld’s short bursts of wordplay – “This town / everything is plain / don’t forget umbrellas love the rain”. The track sounds as fun as it does writ with frustration, Schmalfeld – overcome with the exasperated boredom of staying in one place – delivers with a snotty wit and a turn-of-cheek. It even comes across within their artwork – colourfully animated images of frustration and sadness contrast and conflict.

Schmalfeld has a penchant to create an image of vexation rather than straight out attack it, a subtle approach which also becomes apparent sonically – “Can you drive me out of my brain // i’ve got two rusty wheels / and a broken chain“. It’s within this that Audacity truly define themselves, their artful progressions – whether in the jolting change within their dynamics or Schmalfeld’s in-depth approach to verse – are the element that shows the group remain more than just another punk band.

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