Essential New Music: Jacuzzi Boys’ “Ping Pong”

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To say that Miami’s Jacuzzi Boys have had trouble finding their footing outside the garage isn’t an entirely fair assessment. Over the course of their past few albums, the guitars have gotten tauter, the production slicker and the songs more direct. Where contemporaries Black Lips take a more psychedelic approach, Jacuzzi Boys lay on the riffs with the self-released Ping Pong. Following on the heels of the Happy Damage EP, Ping Pong doles out confection after barbed confection. The punchy “Boys Like Blood” and the churning “Seventeen” sound like interdimensional T.Rex outtakes, while the Boys’ punk spirit is alive and well on the relentless “New Cross.” The band even offers its own take on flower power, particularly on the breezy “Easy Motion.” For as solid as Ping Pong is (one of the group’s best), there remains a twinge of anonymity in the music. So well-versed are Jacuzzi Boys in hooky guitar pop that their boisterous personalities occasionally get lost in the mix.

—Eric Schuman

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