I’ll admit I can only understand about one in 10 words Jello Biafra sings, but this style of punk gets his point across. The Audacity of Hype is fiercely political, and I don’t just mean the album title/cover. A chorus of upper Midwestern “Yatta hey,” combined with the line “Man, I’d fuck her too” (“Clean as a Thistle”) certainly calls to mind a certain rogue we all know and love.
It’s easy to get distracted by the lyrics of any Jello Biafra machine, but musically The Audacity of Hype is complex and subtle. Songs range from the cacophony of guitars in “Clean as a Thistle,” very Dead Kennedys in style, to a deliberate marching beat in the call to arms. The disparity between chaos and order reflects Jello’s visions of how the present is, and how the future should be.
If you want a happy album to sing along in your car, look elsewhere, but if you liked the Dead Kennedys or hyper-political punk, this is for you. This isn’t a particularly new sound for Jello Biafra, but it is a modern interpretation of the old style. There are a few uncharacteristic elements, like new-wave synths in a few songs. This album really comes down to whether or not you like Jello Biafra.