In a world where every second rock band is a generic, uninspired variation of the same lo-fi garage formula, Fullerton, Calif. group Audacity has the odds stacked against it. Don’t let its penchant for scuzzy garage pop fool you into avoiding it, however, as the members of the quartet are unsung heroes of the sub-genre. First with 2009’s criminally underrated Power Drowning and now on Mellow Cruisers, these dudes know their way around crafting perfect summer anthems.
While Power Drowning was all explosive eruptions of KBD punk and singalong choruses, Mellow Cruisers is, well, more mellow. That’s not to say the album isn’t a party starter — shuffling opener “Indian Chief” makes that clear as it switches gears from head-bobbing slow jam to pogo-worthy fist-pumper. But while Audacity has maintained its hyperactive energy and ability to shift gears with little notice, it is prioritizing melody, offering more power pop than straightforward power chords. It’s working: tracks like “Subway Girl” and “Ears and Eyes” are certified bangers, while “Punk Confusion” is likely the catchiest song they’ve ever written. Smooth, sweet and perfectly summery, you won’t do any better than these breezy jams. Mellow Cruisers is the Coors Light Iced T of punk albums.