Jacuzzi Boys Actually Return with Ping Pong

Can garage rock really go any further in 2016? It doesn’t seem like it as even the figureheads of the revival have started to branch out. Ty Segall dropped his guitar and became a frontman for this last tour cycle. The Growlers made a disco record. And Thee Oh Sees, who I’ve compared to cocaine in the past, put out a new album that sounds like they’re coming OFF of cocaine. Everyone’s already pissed in this pool so naturally, its probably time to get out so that the fucker can be drained.

Jacuzzi Boys were one of the first bands I got into back in 2010 when garage rock was bubbling up to the surface again. I dug their debut album No Seasons, if only for “Island Ave” and “Docks.” Yet, after their debut, it felt like the rest of their records dropped off in quality. I can’t recall a single track from 2012’s Glazin and I couldn’t tell you shit about the album released after that. It’s not that they were bad, but with the oversaturation of garage rock bands at the time, they just weren’t vital or doing anything to excited.

The irony is that now the shoe is on the other foot. I only gave their new album, Ping Pong, a listen because it was the day after those shit election results came in and I needed a distraction. With this in mind, the opening track “Lucky Blade” was all too comforting. The warm guitar pop sounds mixed well with the loner-esque lyrics definitely matched my dissociative mood that day. I was caught off guard by how well the song knew how to build and carry the weight. I played it 3 times in a row without hesitation. It had been about 4 years since I had given the band a chance, but now, I was fucking in.

Lucky Blade – Jacuzzi Boys

“Boys Like Blood” sounds like it borrowed a shade or two from Crocodiles (not that that’s bad), but the structure of “Refrigeration” made me feel like I had already heard this song a thousand times before. Before I could call this record a fluke, “Seventeen” came on. This slow-burner sounds like being stuck in a kaleidoscope with a girl you like. Could this be their spiritual sequel to Iggy Pop’s “Sixteen?” Considering they’re fans (and vice versa), it’s not that big of a stretch.

Seventeen – Jacuzzi Boys

“Can’t Fight Forever” is a proper rocker that segues perfectly into the psychedelic “Easy Motion.” From here, the rest of the record plays out nicely, culminating in the album closer, “Tip of My Tongue/Edge of My Brain” – a song so entrancing, it could gives you tunnel vision.

Tip of My Tongue/Edge of My Brain – Jacuzzi Boys

So what makes this record so much better than 90% of the garage rock stuff out there? In my opinion, it’s more relatable. I didn’t hate Ty Segall’s last record, but I haven’t listened to it since June. Aside from the occasional to-oblivion songs like “Candy Sam,” it didn’t strike the same chord that warranted playback. The same can be said for Thee Oh Sees. Oblivion is fun, but if there’s nothing to find in the midst of it, then it’s just a vacuum. Jacuzzi Boys have more to offer,  Ping Pong makes their case for them. Buy the record HERE and hear it for yourself.

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