jacuzzi-boys

For a few seconds, Ping Pong opens with a screeching, rattled cacophony. With a quick snap, you know you’re in for something kickass. You see, if any album opener nails what you’re in for, “Lucky Blade” does just that. The outside world in the song has a uniform sameness that the refined lo fidelity attempts to shake. Jacuzzi Boys seem okay with this because they’re going to keep doing their thing, and as the track shows, there’s nothing slowing them down.

If they want to praise the glory of cold storage while using it as a metaphor on “Refrigeration,” then why not do it? There’s a peppy rhythm to it that has a certain ADD tinge, but they’re focused, and they’re freezing people out who try to get in their heads. They’ll tip their cap to the punk rock legends of yore while shredding through tracks like “New Cross” and “Strange Exchange.” You’re waiting for the ticking time bomb to go off in the middle of the circle pit these tracks get thrown into, and you watch it go off, knowing the explosion will only exude a good time.

One thing you definitely won’t find lacking is a certain strut and swagger. It’s the kind of swagger that is inclusive, rather than exclusive. At times, you feel like Jacuzzi Boys are saying, “Alright, if you’re digging us, everyone join in on the fun.” This attitude sneeringly pokes fun at the bizarre ideals of male masculinity on "Boys Like Blood" it seems, but then you hear something like “Iodine” and know the wink at the glam, punk, and big amp artists of the 70s holds a genuine appreciation for confidence.

You aren’t going to get a full tilt sound the whole time though. “Seventeen” finds its tempo best fit in a middle ground while contemplating what it’s like to be on the cusp of adulthood. “Zoo” doesn’t want the night to end, and the scene is a bit unsettling in the wicked distortion and requests to extend the evening. But turning up the wattage like they do on “Can’t Fight Forever?” More common than not, even as the guys think about whether they should keep running or just give in.

As Ping Pong comes to a close, “Tip of my Tongue – Edge of my Bar” deconstructs your expectations to create their longest track of the album. You can hear some Breeders going on there, but Jacuzzi Boys act with extreme restraint. Every part of the track is so tediously organized that you wouldn’t mind another six minutes, even as their organized chaos bookends the album.

You know what to do – live a little, and pick up the new album (available on Hello Merch). Joey Smith