n order to be a garage rock band, you need a garage. And to have a garage, you need to be in the suburbs. And thus, the purest form of garage rock is made by bored teenagers tormenting their neighbors with the ramshackle sounds rendered from their starter instruments in the cluttered carports of their parents’ homes. The strongest distillation of that primitive four-chord anthem is crafted before a 9pm neighborhood noise curfew. Most of these bands are never heard by anyone other than a handful of friends and anyone within a fifty yard radius of the driveway—all too many of these young hopefuls refine their chops, expand their repertoire, head off to college, and either turn into DJs or start their post-punk/krautrock/prog project. But every once in awhile, one of those suburban high school bands just fucking nails it and the world takes notice.

Fullerton’s Audacity is a prime example of the latter phenomenon. After nine years of existence, the rowdy quartet has left the garage of their humble 9th grade beginning, but the garage hasn’t left the spirit of their music. With two LPs, a slew of EPs, and no shortage of touring under their belts, Audacity are hardly a wet-behind-the-ears rock band. Their razor-sharp musicianship and high-energy performances were solid enough to earn them the privilege of serving as the backing band for both King Tuff and Todd Congelliere (Toys That Kill, Underground Railroad to Candyland). And while you could hear the band pushing at the boundaries on their prior releases—a nod to Descendents melodic hardcore here, a dash of Replacements’ bar-band flirtations there—Audacity seems less interested in showing a broad swath of influences as they are in delivering the craftiest hooks and sweatiest live show possible.

Audacity’s latest full-length Butter Knife is still, at its core, a garage rock record. The economic instrumentation, grit-tinged guitar jangle, pogo-prompting tempos, and sing-along choruses can all be traced back to the seminal Nuggets collections. But ultimately, Butter Knife doesn’t sound so much like an homage to The Sonics as it sounds like a young band striving to make the most ebullient and jubilant noise possible. Album opener “Couldn’t Hold A Candle” is a perfect introduction to Audacity’s battle plan—a balanced blend of pop sensibility and ribald power. “Hole In The Sky” showcases the band’s gift for the on-the-dime changes, sophisticated melodies, and clever instrumental interplay. “Red Wine” demonstrates a Robert Pollard-like knack for turning an unexpected chord combination into a remarkably punchy chorus. And album closer “Autumn” harkens back to the balladry of power pop kings Big Star. All of which is to say, Audacity are tighter and more clever than your average suburban band, and consequently they’re one of the strongest acts in the Southern Californian garage rock scene surrounding Fullerton’s DIY label Burger Records (Black Lips, Nobunny, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees).

Audacity may be of legal drinking age, and they may have moved out of a garage into a proper rehearsal room, but maturity hasn’t tempered that youthful exuberance of a band just learning how to wield their weapons. Instead, their tenure as a band has endowed them with the musical precision of a well-trained army. Butter Knife hits the streets on CD, LP, and digital formats on October 29, 2013.

The Coathangers announce full North America tour, dates w/ Black Lips and Audacity. Their upcoming album "Suck My Shirt" comes out 3/18 on Suicide Squeeze.

The Coathangers Announce Tour Black Lips

The Coathangers bang out another full North American tour this spring – bringing their infectious sass and unruly live performance to this year’s SXSW, Spillover, Burgerama Fests and legs with The Black Lips,

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