Glazin', Jacuzzi Boys
Hardly Art, USA
by Andrew Casillas
I have to admit: I did not like this record. It was a chore to sit through multiple times. Even when I kept delaying and delaying and delaying my review (although maybe one of those “delays” should be attributed to my day job), I couldn’t work up the energy to think through an enthusiastic review. Admittedly, maybe this sort of scuzzy, power-punk-pop-rock wasn’t in my wheelhouse. I was never much of a Gene Vincent-meets-the Buzzcocks kind of guy, either. Regardless, I thought this was a dull listen.
Glazin' is the sophomore album from Miami trio Jacuzzi Boys. Unlike labelmates The Beets, the latest inductees to the Hardly Art imprint deserve more though love than the middling impressions every other outlet has offered them. Not that it’s a bad record. Indeed, Glazin’ has a few legitimate “tunes.” And by that I mean well-written, melodic pop songs. In a sense, they’re peppy—three-minute, spunky, AM radio cruisers with sunshine-tinted lacquer. Yeah, I like that description. Let’s roll with that.
Honestly, if you like real rock and roll, this is definitely worth some investigating. I could see your favorite dive bar giving this record a turn in the jukebox—not that I’ve ever been to your favorite dive bar (unless it's Bar America in San Antonio or Deep Eddy’s Cabaret in Austin), but I’m sure great dive bar jukeboxes are similarly eclectic. And after another quick spin, I think one listen to “Vizcaya” or the title track would definitely serve as an adequate barometer for whether you’d like to investigate further. The vintage-sounding production (not in the Black Keys-kinda way, but legit analog fuzz) helps the record as a whole, but those two tracks in particular have a kick and punch to them that's sorely lacking throughout. I mean, even the great garage rock bands that Jacuzzi Boys are obviously indebted to provided a little bit of boogie or anarchy to stem the tide.
So yeah, it's energetic, breezy, guitar-bass-drums-fuzzy vocals rock and roll. Perhaps the least offensive record you’ll hear this year, except for maybe Take Care. That may be the problem—it sounds simple. Not easy. Not rote. Just unchallenging. I know, it's only rock and roll. But you might like it. Let’s just split the baby and put $2 in the jukebox.