Release Date: Aug 29, 2011
Record label: Hardly Art
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Jacuzzi Boys’ rollicking, good-natured approach to the popular garage-punk-surf-noise musical thread that ran through the early 2010s like a stampede of skinny jeaned, large-framed-glasses wearing wild buffalo sets them apart from the rest. So does the songwriting prowess on display throughout their second album, Glazin’. It’s filled with singalong tunes with big hooks given a sneaky power by the low-budget clarity of the recording and the straightforward punch of the music.
If any old photo is worth a thousand words, the promo shots accompanying Jacuzzi Boys’ sophomore album, Glazin’, are worth double. One depicts the Miami trio— drummer Diego Monasterios in a ball-cap, and pouty frontman Gabriel Alcala in a letter jacket—leaning against an air-hockey table. Another—the most telling of the set—features the band against a yearbook photographer’s gray-sheet backdrop.
According to Miami-based garage-punk threesome the Jacuzzi Boys, “glazin’” is a badass state-of-mind/way of life, but one spin of Glazin’ and you’ll be convinced it refers to the glorious pop sheen that coats their triumphant second album. Where the band’s—guitarist/singer Gabriela Alcala, drummer Diego Monasterios and bassist Danny Gonzalez—2009 debut, No Seasons, was a fun-as-hell, scuzzy (if nondescript) romp, the comparatively cleaned-up Glazin’—recorded in an actual studio in Benton Harbor, Michigan (!)—shows how nicely our Boys can clean up. Girl-crazy tunes like “Automatic Jail” (“Me without you? I just can’t cope!”), “Libras and Zebras” and “Crush” are neon glam rock of the highest order, easily on par with trendsetters like Wavves, Best Coast, Sleigh Bells and Hunx and His Punx (who could’ve guessed in 2011 that plunking girl-group aesthetics down at the beach with some fuzzed-out guitars would be a legitimate path to glory?), and even goofball throwaways like “Cool Vapors”, an ode to driving in an air-conditioned car, anchored by Alcala’s metallic guitar lead, are nothing short of charming.
Garage rock was never an album's game, and-- in the midst of yet another revival-- that hasn't changed. Scuzzbucket strum and teenage truth will always fare far better as short, sharp shocks; then as now, the impact of a song like the Seeds' mighty "Pushin' Too Hard" is dulled by the half-dozen soundalikes on the LP from whence it came. Good as many of them are, that this new crop has yet to produce a truly classic LP isn't terribly surprising-- the song's the thing, cohesion's almost antithetical.
At first glance, Miami’s Jacuzzi Boys don’t have too much going for them. Their name is ridiculous, and, well, they’re from Florida. A quick listen to any of their numerous EPs, or to 2009 full-length No Season, immediately proves otherwise, though, as this trio of ’60s-indebted rockers knows exactly how to push their poppy garage craft. Oh, and Iggy Pop thinks they rock.
If you don’t know much about Miami, take Jacuzzi Boys’ word for it. The title of the band’s sophomore album, Glazin’ (an album as lo-fi and surf/garage rock as could be), aims to communicate a certain Miami-ness that brings to mind beaches and babes more than Dexter’s body bags (which is what I know about Miami). “I just see it as a state of mind,” bassist Danny Gonzales told CMJ of the title upon the announcement of Glazin’s release.