Jacuzzi Boys – Jacuzzi Boys

JacuzziBoys_LP2Rating: ★★★½☆

I feel like I’ve been waiting for some time to hear the new LP from Miami’s Jacuzzi Boys.  But, while it’s only been a short two years since their last release, the boys have been touring hard and writing the great songs that fall into this self-titled release on Hardly Art.  It’s full of infectious pop tunes and harmonies that appear to be a foray into a more pop-centric realm.

“Be My Prism” opens the record with this really warm pop feeling; it’s an emotion that serves the song and the album well.  I think the guitar might be a little understated here, though, leaving the melody as the big focus.  But, that seems to be the early approach on Jacuzzi Boys, as they move into “Black Gloves” with the same mentality.  The guitars are a little more pronounced, but there’s still a huge focus on the harmonies the group has created.  Personally, I think this is one of my favorite tracks on the LP.  By this point, the band’s settled into a groove that they ride for the duration, using the guitars to accent their beach pop.

Right after the lead single, “Double Vision” comes another great song that I’ve been partial to as I’ve spent time with this LP.  “Dust” is this drifting pop tune that seems as if it was thrown together haphazardly (I mean that in a good way).  It’s so casual and unassuming, but the ringing guitar effect and the vocals do wonders for my ears. It’s not a tune I expected, which is perhaps why I find it so incredible…all the way to the fuzzed guitar riff near the end.  It’s a song that fits well with “Heavy Horse,” a song that Jacuzzi Boys offer you later in the listen.  The latter tune even includes extra bits of percussion to bring the warmth of the melody further into the fold. There’s hints of swagger in the guitar, but you can easily see yourself enjoying a nice Miami beach sunset and a cold beer while this tune echoes in the distance.

While you can still feel the edge of the band that was apparent in Glazin, this release has a totally different appeal.  This effort seems more geared to a relaxed listen, rather than a beer fueled beach party.  The songs are gentler, leaving a calmer pop feeling to soothe you, rather than one that’s built on propulsive hooks.  For me, I think that it might not be as immediately charming, though the more listens you put into it, the more you’re ultimately rewarded.  If you weren’t completely sold on Jacuzzi Boys, then I think this release is going to change your mind, making you their new biggest fan.

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