Jacuzzi Boys have spent their fair share of time in the pages of RSTB and its good to see them survive as one of the longest runners out of the lo-fi garage boom of the early aughts ‘n teens. They’ve kicked the gloss up several times over from the early days, putting a coat of wax on with each new album, and the latest is quite possibly the slickest version of the JBs yet. They’ve pretty much jettisoned any notions of garage at this point, and on Ping Pong they dive headlong into a pool of ’90s inflections that fit them well. Flagship single “Boys Like Blood” is the band at their catchiest and most polished, but its dirtied up with a nod from the ’90s production school that new how to turn grunge into radio ready summer nuggets. Its blows up like it was gassed on L7’s Bricks Are Heavy and tweaked with The Breeders’ sense of spacing and earworm dynamics.
The rest of the album explodes like a pound of Mentos in Diet Coke, fizzing and foaming and generally making a delightful, sticky-sweet mess of scuzzed-up power pop and grunge. The album picks up steam like a lost radio transmission bounced off the Azores and right into the dish in the back of our collective pop consciousnesses. Its got that tip-of-the-toungue feeling that cements some instant classic nudges among the twelve tracks in the grooves. There have been a few lately who are hearkening back to a time of full-stack pop rock that feels like its waiting to reach the masses and I’m personally open to a resurgence of full sounding alt-rockers that nick their cues from Fountains of Wayne, Super Furry Animals and Supergrass. The latter two definitely rear their head here on “Easy Motion, which takes more than a few tricks out of the Britpop songbook, featuring janglin’ juxtaposed with beats like Top Of The Pops flashback.
The band have always had their laughs injecting an element of oddball glee into their tracks, with crocodile wrestlin’ odes bumping lounged bellbottomed swagger in their catalog, but they’ve rarely sounded as confident and fun as they do here. That glint in the eye is sparking solid and they’ve filled the album with a new host of toothpaste stealin’ neighbors and blade wielding menaces. In their wanderlust through glam, garage, power pop and grunge, they’ve now found the impulses that suit them best, amplified accordingly, letting loose one of their most infectious records. Every time a long standing site fave readies a new long player there’s that moment of trepidation, but the JBs lay it all to waste. Gonna have to squirrel away some more space in the ‘J’ section this month.
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