‘PING PONG’ LP by Jacuzzi Boys
By Julia Tolstrup
Among the things in this vast and ever-expanding universe that make me unreasonably happy, a good beat and driving guitars are near the top of the list. Florida-based garage band, Jacuzzi Boys’ latest offering “Ping Pong” hands out plenty of both. The band slammed back into the rock scene with the record, loaded with energy and dark irreverence. The hammering guitar and edgy harmony at the beginning of the first track, “Lucky Blade,” quickly erupt into a rhythm driven feast that never quits from top to bottom.
“Refrigeration” is a stand-out, up-tempo whirlwind that seems to include one part Thee Oh Sees, one part Vampire Weekend–though the band has said in interviews before that they don’t rely much on influence. “Boys Like Blood” nails the relentless, grunged-up sound of classic garage rock, while “Gamma” inhabits a whole other space. A love song of sorts, it delivers sultry tones and impassioned jangles.
Overall, “Ping Pong” stays true to the garage sound that Jacuzzi Boys have always encompassed. This sound has garnered them some serious attention; Iggy Pop once praised the band in an interview with Urban Outfitters, and in spring of 2016 they opened for him in Miami. Their single “Bricks and Coconuts” found its way into the Seth Rogan/Joseph Gordon-Levitt movie “50/50,” and the band has their own packed touring schedule with stops across the US and Canada.
Jacuzzi Boys are known for putting on one hell of a live show, and one listen will go a long way in explaining why. In the time-honored tradition of garage rock, “Ping Pong” brings the sweaty energy that pulsates the walls of venues, combining the chaos of guitars and drums with a clean vocal sound that hovers above it all.