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 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 began generating momentum with an early flurry of seven-inch singles. But really, it was No Seasons, their debut full-length on Orlando garage/punk label Florida's Dying that catapulted them out of the swamp and into broader American consciousness.
These days, they have 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 of 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.
Jacuzzi Boys' Glazin' Release Party: With the Jameses, Snakehole, and Loose Stools. 9 p.m. Saturday, August 27, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com. Admission costs $5.
Vocalist Gabriel Alcala describes the new album's music as the ideal soundtrack for "a car packed with friends on the way to a party." Drummer Diego Monasterios calls the record "a rock 'n' roll piñata," an image that seems to be a particularly striking metaphor for the Jacuzzi sound — which, like a piñata, is colorful and playful on the surface, and aggressively confirms its whimsy by vomiting candy everywhere.
While maintaining the good-times getdown appeal of their first album, Glazin' also represents a departure for the band, Alcala explains. "It's still us, still our version of rock 'n' roll," he says. "[But] it feels tighter, more electric, as opposed to No Seasons, which had a looser, live feel." And to nail down the record's vibe with utmost precision, the guys hunkered 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."
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Living like kings presumably inspired a king's worth of rock music. As for the finished product, Alcala once again describes it as "electric." And the boys will no doubt be dropping a shit-ton of that electricity at Churchill's Pub this Saturday when we all finally get a real, live taste of Glazin'.