Sonic Reducer: Jacuzzi Boys

Geoffrey Plant
3 min read
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Jacuzzi Boys’ new record boasts 12 old school, three chord—heck, two chord—songs that so many have written but few have mastered. On Ping Pong, these Floridian garagelanders mix beans with rice, put rubber to the road and add a little introspection to your section. The almost inhuman and long-playing metronomic rhythm that put the ostensibly idiotic Ramones near the top of the rock and roll garbage pile isn’t a “Rock Band 101” skill that bands and musicians grow out of or dumb down to, it’s the fundament whence comes the music of Sly and Robbie, The Stooges, Pharoah Sanders’ “Love is Everywhere,” DC hardcore music in general and Ping Pong, too. The outfit’s first single, now streaming around the net, “Boys Like Blood” fairly represents Ping Pong‘s compressed unhingedness. Sad to say Burqueños will have to visit Tucson or El Chuco to catch the Boys live this year.

Fresh Snow ONE (Hand Drawn Dracula)

Last year, Fresh Snow’s EP ONE landed in a crowded inbox but quickly migrated into the antique wind-up music box where slightly jaded alt-weekly music critics place those releases that have that tertium quid—that element that is produced by the members of the band but doesn’t exist otherwise. It’s what differentiates Combat Rock from Cut the Crap. One is a brilliant record. The other is total shit. ONE, produced by Holy Fuck’s Graham Walsh has “that thing.” The first track, “Olinda”, comes on like a passenger jet powered by Glenn Branca’s guitar army! With a lovely bleep-bloop underpinning, ONE rolls on like a child eyeing a Mobius strip. On “I Am Smitten With Your Wrath,” the band demonstrates their ability to explore a beat, something Kraftwerk perfected and, like Fresh Snow, made sound deceptively easy. I would be remiss in not mentioning one of the finest ever rock and roll triangle solos which closes out side two of ONE.

Lizzy Rose Crocodile Tears (Self-Released)

Lizzy Rose’s other band, Vitamins, makes me wonder if their hometown, Denver, is tedious and cool or simply coolly tedious, like in that Washington, D.C. way. Her lauded vocals on the Flaming Lips’ Dark Side of The Moon tour confirm that OK City is tidily coltish. Good news here is Crocodile Tears is nowhere near as tedious nor tidy as the cumbersomely cool possibilities earlier mentioned. Repeated listening divests Lizzy Rose’s solo LP of what might come across as pretentiousness. The genuinely carnivalesque Crocodile Tears harkens to some ’60s pop theatrics yet like Their Satanic Majesties battling Sgt. Pepper, the songwriting overcomes any awkward or theatrical modishness. Despite the operatic, Mr. Kite annoyance of “Madam Huntley”, songs like “Boldly Going Nowhere” and “Muse For a Masterpiece” indicate Lizzy Rose might contribute to a serio masterpiece some day. Meanwhile Crocodile Tears will do just fine.

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