When it comes to music from Miami, all of the big names are either Gloria Estefan or rappers. Who's got time for rock 'n' roll when you've got a city full of people constantly blasting the trap-rap bangers of Rick Ross, dancing in the street to the Latin-tinged hip-hop of Pitbull, or jiggling their mammoth badonks to the booty bass of 2 Live Crew?
The answer to that question is Jacuzzi Boys, Miami's leading garage-pop trio. They've got nothing but time for rockin', rollin', and related activities.
The Boys started generating momentum with an early flurry of seven-inch singles. But really, it was No Seasons, their debut full-length on Orlando garage-slash-punk label Florida's Dying that catapulted them out of the swamp and into broader American consciousness.
These days, the Boys have got a new label -- Seattle's Hardly Art -- and a new LP --Glazin' -- and something tells us their consciousness expansion program is set to explode.
But don't let all this psychic hippie talk confuse you. The Jacuzzi Boys won't really "melt your face off" or "blow your mind." Instead, their particular take on the garage template involves slightly surfy riffage, a danceable tempo, and a slickly retro (though not gratuitously reverbed) tone.
Speaking about the new album, vocalist Gabriel Alcala describes the music as the ideal soundtrack for "a car packed with friends on the way to a party."
Relatedly, drummer Diego Monasterios calls the record "a rock 'n' roll piñata." And Crossfade finds this image to be a particularly striking metaphor for the Jacuzzi sound, which, like a piñata, appears colorful and playful on the surface, and aggressively confirms its whimsy with a ripped-open gut vomiting candy everywhere.
While maintaining the good-vibe getdown appeal of their first album, Gabriel explains that Glazin' also represents a departure for the Boys. "It's still us," he says. "Still our version of rock 'n roll. [But] it feels tighter, more electric, as opposed to No Seasons, which had a looser, live feel."
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To nail down the record's vibe with utmost precision, The Boys bunkered down at the Key Club Recording Company in Michigan. "We slept in bunk beds, watched great-slash-awful VHS movies, played with dogs, played poker, ate amazing pad thai, and drank a lot of wine and whiskey."
Living like a king presumably inspired a king's worth of rock music. As for the finished product? Gabriel once again describes it as "electric." And the Boys will no doubt be dropping a shit-ton of that electricity at Churchill's Pub on August 27 when we all finally get a real, live taste of "Glazin'."
The Jacuzzi Boys Album Release Party with The Jameses, Snakehole and Loose Stools. Churchill's Pub. 5501 NE 2 Ave. $5 Cover. Party starts at 9. churchillspub.com