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TEENAGE KINGS OF SLOP POP: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO AUDACITY
As mentioned previously, Audacity blew Black Time off stage when they played with us back in 2007. They were to be the first of many, many American bands (he sobbed) that showed us how it should be done on our two trips to the states, but to date I’m convinced that they were the best – an absolutely astonishing performance. My dazed clutching to the fact that it must have been a fluke and the songs can’t have been that good has been consecutively disproved by a demo CD-R, a tape, and most conclusively by the ‘Power Drowning’ LP. It combines everything that is good and great about snotty three-chord teenage garage music: singalong angst anthems, blurry tempos, unhinged performances, bittersweet ballads (yes ballads!), goofy humour, hormone raging energy, all captured with the perfect balance of rawness and detail in a typically fine recording by Mike McHugh. There’s a real sense of a band that’s more than the sum of its parts – there’s nothing that remarkable about any individual player but together they lock into this raging groove and concoct inspired arrangements that get the best out of each song. There’s lots of bands around at the moment who do one kind of thing really well but fall down at the longplayer stage ‘cos they hit you over the head with 12 examples of it and that can get tired over two sides of wax. Audacity switch up tempo and mood frequently enough that the album is still lying in the ‘regular listen’ pile next to my turntable after many spins.
With such a great record under their belts, I assumed that everyone must be going hog-wild for Audacity in their homeland and they would be enjoying a hallowed period of headlining county fairs, playing civic functions for Governor Schwarzenegger and starring in their own Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello style series of beach party movies. Peering through the rusty interpipe in my leaky Victorian garret though I can discern some evidence that this may not in fact be the case and instead everyone is distracted by listening to indie-pop revival acts and limited edition cassettes by bands called TTTTTTrussstFFund. I implore thee, pilgrim cousins, to correct this oversight immediately by purchasing ‘Power Drowning’ - you can thank me later. If you’re not sold on my rambling hyperbole then you may be swayed by the fact that their bass player is called Cameron Crowe.
I tried to find out more about what made these young men tick and got back the below from the collective brain of the band (Cameron, Thomas Alvarez, Kyle Gibson and Matt Schmalfeld).
TB: How long has the band been going and how do you all know each other?
TB: There seems to be a lot of cross-pollination of bands and people that are in or from your area - Party Fowl, Ty Segall, Traditional Fools, Burger Records etc – is it a small scene in Orange County? Do you all hang out together and stuff?
TB: Do you see yourselves in any kind of west coast lineage? Obviously you cover Red Cross and there’s a kind of Dangerhouse/Beach Blvd vibe to some of the songs.
TB: Who writes the songs – is it a collective effort or does one person come up with the basic ideas?
TB: How was it recording at the Distillery?
TB: Your drummer is called Thomas Alvarez and you have a song called Mr. Alvarez - is the song about Thomas? One of his relatives? What's the score?!
TB: On the inner it says you were all 17 or 18 when the album was recorded - are you all off at college and shit now? Will you be able to carry on doing the band in holidays?
TB: When we played with you, you were doing backflips off the stage and shit. I'm always envious of this kind of behaviour as I'm extremely clumsy and frequently trip over leads, fall off the stage, smack myself in the mouth with the microphone etc without attempting to do anything near as athletic. So what's the worst you've injured yourself doing a show?
TB: Do you all skate? I notice there's a few references in the lyrics. What’s your favourite song about skating?
TB: What’s next for Audacity?
Audacity on the web here.Interview by Agent Lemmy Caution. Pics stolen from the interweb, if anyone would like a credit please contact the editor.
To read other interviews, go here.
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