It’s hard as a fan of a band to take an album out of context and judge it as a stand alone release, rather than an ongoing sonic evolution. A band will always be judged based on it’s beginnings until those beginnings are so far in the past that no one can remember back that far. The self-titled third LP from Miami based three-piece Jacuzzi Boys is so far removed from their debut album No Seasons that it’s unlikely they will retain many of their original fans. This glossier sound however, (which first became clear on their sophomore release Glazin’) does still envelope the neatly packaged pop songs that have always been at the core of the bands’ sound.
Unfortunately the saccharine nature of the album’s first two tracks Be My Prism and Black Gloves offer little in the way to convince listeners that Jacuzzi Boys’ choice of direction is a good one. It’s not until the pulsating bass of Double Vision rears its head to legitimately argue that this slick course is worth sticking to, setting the scene nicely for a heavy make out session in the corner of some dark club. Guillotine harks back to the Jacuzzi Boys of old, its scratchy guitar a welcome change to the clean warm tones that characterize the majority of the album. Hotline has an understated cool to it, once again propelled by a dominating bass line; it nails the danceable sleaze beats that The Kills delivered on Midnight Boom.
With the exception of upbeat garage pop number Domino Moon the remainder of Jacuzzi Boys contains an abundance of slow dreamy psych/rock/pop numbers that cause the album to sporadically drag and while this style of pop is finding popularity with the masses it’s likely to alienate the band’s original garage fans. For those open to the collection of yet more notches to the band’s genre belt, the third album from the trio may just please, but it lacks the razor’s edge that kept their sophomore effort, Glazin’ on the dirty side of the fence. Jacuzzi Boys now have their feet firmly planted in pop territory.
BY KRYSTAL MAYNARD
Best Track: Hotline
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: THE MOONHEARTS, WASHED OUT, WAAVES
In A Word: Divisive