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Jacuzzi Boys - Glazin’

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Artist: Jacuzzi Boys

Album: Glazin’

Label: Hardly Art

Review date: Aug. 29, 2011

There’s a distinctive feeling you get after spending time in a Jacuzzi. You leave it covered in the intoxicating crust of medium-strength debauchery and the temporary glow that comes from indulging in one of our most enduring symbols of having “made it” this side of the Cadillac. Yet, as decadent and wasteful as the Jacuzzi might be, no one could be blamed for wanting to relax in one. On their second full-length, and first for Hardly Art Records, Miami’s Jacuzzi Boys attempt to capture that state of mind, that “glaze” if you will, minus any of the pesky degradation. In fact, Glazin’ is light-years from South Beach swank and Heatles drama.

No, the Boys are not a Yacht Rock parody band, despite what the name might imply. Nor are they coming from quite the same place musically as Miami’s experimentally minded TeePee or The Electric Bunnies. Rather, the trio are rooted in hummable, ‘60s-centric garage rock. Tracks such as album-opener “Vizcaya,” the starry-eyed “Crush” and the brisk, stuttering “Cool Vapors” give off a certain bouncy innocence — whether genuine or cultivated — that separates the band from the more delinquent-punk tendencies of many of their genre peers. Glazin’ is full of palm trees, sunny open roads, and dizzying, nearly intoxicating crushes. In fact, the Boys seem to stand in awe of the power of infatuation, singing “My heart’s beating the opposite of slow / The stars were dim but now they really glow.”

The band’s sundazed power pop is only enhanced by the album’s production. Whatever lo-fi tendencies lurked on earlier records (whether out of expediency or genuine artistic choice) are tempered here in favor of what is, if not a mature sound then certainly one conscientious of how pop smarts can be elevated by a solid recording. Make no mistake, Glazin’ is a simple pop-rock record. It’s fuzzy, and it has a nice swirling psych touch, but it also displays a relaxed, confident craftsmanship — a touch of reverb here, a Martin Hannett nod there (check out the snare on “Crush”) — that elevates it just so, pulling it out of the garage gutter and into the warmth of the sun. Or the Jacuzzi, as it were.

By Nate Knaebel

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