By Carrie Mok
September 19, 2013
You know that sunny, beach rock sound which was perfected by The Beach Boys? Well Jacuzzi Boys are turning it on its head into a raw, alternative ensemble with their new self-titled record. The Miami trio’s third LP is a collection of garage rock with splashes of psych and pop mixed in with weaving rhythms and melodies.
Opener ‘Be My Prism’ is kaleidoscopic and diverse with its progressive guitar chords in the post-chorus section and ‘60s inspired horns. Then the catchy stutters of “Ah t-t-t-t-t-t /You’ve got to take it apart” mixed in with electro synths, echoing harmonies and a vivid solo in ‘Double Vision’ makes it a knock-out. ‘Rubble’ jumps in and is a dirtier, louder and more intense affair with rushed drum beats representing how lead singer Gabriel Alcala is “running out of time”. While ‘Hotline’ isn’t as immediately in-your-face, the emphasised – almost seductive – words of each sentence and forceful guitars scream out for attention, and rightly so.
But it’s not all about the fast and furious, with ‘Heavy Horse’ showing Jacuzzi Boys’ vulnerability with the pitter patter of patient drums. ‘Heavy Horse’ is a contemplative single following on from the “running” theme of ‘Rubble’ but this time referring to the concepts of running away and being found. While it is slower, it still portrays the band’s characteristics of sugary stutters and well thought-out guitar breaks.
The entire record is busy, each song is filled to the brim with working layers which exceed and tumble over one another with ease and no complications. It’s surprising as Jacuzzi Boys has only three band members, but they’ve created an LP with so much going on that it’s difficult to focus on any one stand-alone element. It’s a small record but not small in character.
Take ‘Ultraglide’ for example, which starts with a roar, quickly softened by the moans of Alcala and the picking and purring of a very much cosmic electric guitar. It then descends into a harmony of background ‘oohs’ and whispers, like being ushered into a secret conversation with Alcala in the dark.
That’s what the Jacuzzi Boys LP feels like, like the Miami boys have given you a personal and secret invitation for a quick pre-release listen. But with any secret, the word will be out on the street soon and the Jacuzzi Boys will find themselves in hot demand by the end of the year.