album review: fast times

Written by Emily Sierra

San Antonio natives, Junkie, have released their third album Fast Times, a collection of songs recorded in their self-made studio that will catch the ears of the sonic youth. Earlier this year, they released the title track as a single, giving eager fans an anthem for summer and a preview of their upcoming album. 

Paying homage to the 80s classic, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, this album is definitely something Jeff Spicoli would’ve jammed to. Junkie does a fantastic job of inserting their recognizable authenticity into every song. Drummer Jonathan James describes the album as “youthful and kinetic,” which can be easily heard in the song “Double Dog Dare.” The childish echoing vocals behind lead singer Mark Perez’s vocals reemphasize that youthful theme of the album. This track reiterates the importance of ambition and not being afraid of opportunity.

The yearning adventure of summer is clearly felt in another track, “Swirly Tongues.” The lyrics in the first verse explain the desperation of wanting to constantly have fun during the summer, hinting at even having a summer fling (hence the name of the song). Guitar heavy track “Padres” exploits teenage confusion as to what parents mean when they give their “wise” advice with relatable lyrics such as, “Mom, I said I have a plan. I still don’t understand what she meant,” and “You want this, you want that. I still don’t understand what they meant.” 

This album allows teenage summer priorities to be easily understood: having fun with friends and making memories that will last forever. James further describes the basis of the album as “keying into each moment, focusing on yourself, love, and enjoying the fast times you can’t get back.” 

“Luv Died” is another track that really sucks the listener in with whimsical guitar riffs, mixing keen influences from 70s rock and modern surf rock. Although this song also has heavy drums to match perfectly with the melody and guitar, the lyrics discuss how convenience and routine are malignant towards romance. Songs full of angst, just like this track, are known to be the soundtrack to summersI can vividly picture friends screaming these lyrics at the top of their lungs while driving with the windows down. 

That’s something incredible that Junkie is able to create with their music. Their authenticity, drive, and pure love for music shines through this album. Catch them on tour this August with Beach Goons and at Viva Pomona on August 24th!

Listen to Fast Times below:

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