Friday, September 2, 2011

Jacuzzi Boys Sweeten Up Some Glazin'

Jacuzzi Boys
Starting a band in Miami isn't the easiest thing to do. At least that's what the Jacuzzi Boys learned when they started a few years ago. Miami can sometimes feel like an island unto itself.

The geography gets in the way, for bands both coming in and going out. Bordered by the ocean and the Everglades, there is only one direction to go by road. Even then, it takes several hundred miles before hitting any playable cities beyond the tip.

But the location didn't deter them. Originally founded guitarist Gabriel Alcala (guitar, vocals) and Diego Monasterios (drums), Jacuzzi Boys became a band after a friend introduced them to bassist Danny Gonzalez. Gonzalez lent more than a bass. The band took to practicing in his family's remote island trailer in a crammed space filled with gear and an exhaustive record collection.

“Miami is not known for producing many good bands,” Gonzalez concedes. “So, quite frequently we get asked, ‘would you ever consider moving?’ Our answer is always, ‘No!’ This is where our friends and family are from. Miami is such a part of the Jacuzzi Boys, as important as any musical influence.”

Glazin' serves up straightforward and fuzzy rock and roll.

Although Glazin' leans more toward power pop than previous DIY singles and their locally released primal debut album in 2009, the Jacuzzi Boys have an uncanny ability to be identified with everything from garage rock to surf punk. The difference might be semi-influenced by their recent signing with Hardly Art.

Instead of recording wherever they could, the band took a trip to Key Club Studios in Benton Harbor. What a difference twelve days in a studio can make. It's obvious they dug deeper into the production of each song, making some classic great music with sometimes campy lyrics, catchy without being commercial.

In part, the new album might be summed up as perfecting their sound from their first indie outing that originally produced the memorable singles Island Ave. and Smells Dead. Before covering the new album, here's a peek at where they came from.

Glazin' clearly has a similar sound, but with more emphasis on well-timed tambourine shakes, zip gun guitars, and laser keys. The name of the album is a giveaway. Jacuzzi Boys play the glaze on the donut. They're fun, sweet, and come in a variety of flavors.

Koo Koo With You is fun and campy, a story of sun-swelled heads and crushes. Zeppelin hits one shade more serious with its playfully sensual lyrics underscored by a few crunchier moments. And Glazin' is also one of the best tunes on the 11-track packed sophomore album, drawing some parallels between the donut glaze "feelings" and finding the right girl.

Sure, there are times when the sound gets to be too much. Automatic Jail and Born Dancer never really take off. But the band redeems itself with Silver Sphere and Los Angeles. The occasional and unexpected crunches inside Cool Vapors and Crush are a nice touch.

Spot on with their music, the Jacuzzi Boys are surprisingly honest and down to earth. They're young, slightly dazed by living their dream, and all about making music instead of imitating whatever happens to be playing to the masses last week. Sure, Glazin' is safer than songs about dead animals (the inspiration for the earlier single Smells Dead), but you have to respect the fact that they are always positive, upbeat, and will be the first to admit their memorable name is silly.

Jacuzzi Boys Sweeten Up With Glazin' At 7.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

Let's face it. Their style is simple and the band plays tight, which will certainly inspire some less-than-hip knockoffs if they get more play time. What other bands need to give up on is trying to sound like anyone. The Jacuzzi Boys never do it, which is why their music sounds authentic. They don't consider themselves accomplished players, preferring to do what they can do. And that's cool, because we like it.

Glazin' by the Jacuzzi Boys is up on iTunes. Glazin' is also on Amazon, where you can find their No Seasons debut too. Barnes & Noble also carries Glazin', and a harder-to-find live vinyl album that Third Man Records put out in 2010.
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