Reviews Audacity Mellow Cruisers

Audacity

Mellow Cruisers

It’s not very often I’ll say a song belongs on the radio and mean that in a good way. With the whispered beginnings to “Garza” on Audacity’s Mellow Cruisers, the song starts with a surf-whisper that builds into an uber-catchy song with rise and fall, singalong choruses and a rhythm section that pulls the listener in and pummels through 3:01 of sunny, upbeat rock. “Company Time” and “Persecuted,” in the middle of the record, also are poppier affairs that utilize calmer tempos and dramatic guitar lines to move the songs forward. They provide a nice little breather among the 10 more upbeat songs before things get back to the pep.

As for the rest of the record, well, Audacity still show their pop chops, but it’s more of a garagey power-pop, with slightly rough production that gives it some grit, yet the big melodies really define the overall sound. Highlights come in “Punk Confusion Formula,” “Fun Spot,” and “Ears & Eyes.” “Punk Confusion Formula” has impressive vocals from Matt Schmalfeld, with a nice emotive waver at just the right time that builds to an empathic chorus, and “Ears & Eyes” alternates between aggressive and calm moments before ultimately settling its tone with a reflective melody that tempers the conflicting emotion in the song.

The band’s strength really shines in their melodies and their ability to write them into a three-minute pop song without coming across full of sugary goop. A song such as “Fun Spot” has a personal tone and some adoration but, at the same time, it’s neither too sugary nor melodramatic. Schmalfeld just sounds personable and, well, content. The songs have a touch of rising action to keep things interesting, giving a kick in the teeth just when it’s needed. If anything, the record is too short, as the songs burn past quickly. It’s a record that gives a strong first impression, and continues to grow with added listens.

8.4 / 10Loren
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Recess

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8.4 / 10

8.4 / 10

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