Glazin’ is exactly what you might expect from the début release of a new and upcoming band of garage rock devotees; a messy and muddled disc which succeeds in evidencing the enthusiasm of the group, if failing to deliver a solid collection of songs. Although Jacuzzi Boys can certainly play their instruments well, their core song-writing is not as tight as it should be.
Not that album opener “Vizcaya” would suggest this, as it’s quite an awesome introduction. There’s some great electric guitar, a tight, speedy pace and the vocals, although never exceptional, are quite easy to fist-pump to. It’s a shame that the entire album doesn’t quite live up to the heights that this initial track would suggest. There’s definitely a sense that the first half of the album is made up of the best songs, whilst there’s a noticeable decline in the latter half. Songs such as “Automatic Jail” and the title track, “Glazin’,” in the first half have a chaotic sense to them, with some great thumping drum crashes and effective bass plucking – the softer moments are exciting in that the listener knows that they will be short-lived, quickly leaping back into the blaze of instruments that await. In contrast, the coastal surf-rock of “Libras and Zebras” grants a welcome change to sunnier heights with its more relaxed pace and bouncier lyrical delivery.
Unfortunately, said lyrics are a mixed bag throughout the record. Although in modern music lyrics can sometimes take a back-seat to the overall ‘sound’ of a song, in this case there are some cringe-worthy stand-outs that leave the wrong sort of lasting image. In “Crush,” we’re greeted to, “The way you smile makes me wanna squeeze / Being with you feels like the coolest breeze,” arguably delivering rhymes for the sake of rhyming. “Zeppelin,” perhaps in a more amateurish way, manages to rhyme, “Oh, oh oh” with, “Woah, woah woah”; not the most poignant of statements. “Koo Koo with You,” although sounding like the boisterous glam of T. Rex, seems a little out-of-place and doesn’t quite convince me of its romantic intentions.
What I am convinced of, however, is that Jacuzzi Boys have potential. This is their first major release, and it’s rare in these cases that a group will strike gold. There’s enough to like about their inoffensive but hard-hitting sound to give them lasting appeal, and a handful of the songs here are worth a listen. “Silver Sphere (Death Dream)” follows almost the same exact progression as TV on the Radio’s “Caffeinated Consciousness,” but this is no bad thing when that song itself was a tribute to all-things Talking Heads. With their influences in the right musical zone, we could be hearing some great things from Jacuzzi Boys in the future. Sadly, this release proves that they’re not quite there yet.
Plugging away since 1999, The National finally hit mainstream success with the release of their 2010 album High Violet. Of course, this entailed their first world tour, but in the new documentary Mistaken For Strangers, it’s only the backdrop for the relationship between lead singer Matt Berninger and his younger brother Tom, who had no idea that these short videos he was shooting would turn into a public document of their troubled, if still loving brotherhood.
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