The perennial proclamation, “rock ‘n’ roll is dead,” is itself a near-expired idiom. While electronic music genres may dominate – especially here in South Florida – there is still demand for the raw, body parts-to-sound tactility of a guitar, bass, drums and voice.
The Jacuzzi Boys are emblematic of this desire for a stripped-down, musical physicality, a cultural fixation traceable to Chuck Berry’s rhythmic licks and Elvis’s suggestive hips.
Miami’s contemporary rock darlings are definitely revivalist, but they’re more reminiscent of late 60s and 70s garage/surf rock. Their choral cousins are The Beach Boys, though they share some downer DNA with the Velvet Underground.
Kicking off a tour throughout the U.S. in a freshly minted space called the “Backstage at the Fillmore,” the Jacuzzi Boys will perform in the more intimate, 300-500 person hall nestled inside the larger Fillmore Miami Beach venue.
The Jacuzzi Boys have increasingly polished their sound, crafting ever-brighter pop vibes that twinkle around a core of punkish psychedelia since their breakthrough release No Seasons, which was released by the influential, independent record label Florida’s Dying.
Since then the Jacuzzi Boys have been seeking a tighter, more marketable aesthetic, and this is especially apparent on Glazin’, their most recent release on Hardly Art (a Seattle-based boutique label.) Whereas older material contained fiercer attitude, the Boys have started to explore more laid-back tempos and experimental sounds.
This is particularly apparent on their just-released single “Double Vision,” which will likely appear on their new LP being released in September on Hardly Art. Even with the new sonic directions, the live shows remain raucous and barely hinged – this trio is still in their mid-twenties, after all.
Joining the Jacuzzi Boys at the Backstage at the Fillmore on Friday will be two other bands from the tri-county area.
Cop City/Chill Pillars is a trio from scattered West Palm Beach locales and Nerve City is the solo project of Jason Boyer (who’s in fact moving back to Miami from Richmond after this show.) Both bands employ the same guitar-bass-drums formula as the Jacuzzi Boys, but they’ll serve as shadowy foils to the celebratory spirit of the headliner.
Cop City/ Chill Pillars, who’s most recent LP Hosed was also released on Florida’s Dying, combine wonky, otherworldly rhythms with chanted vocals that smack of hushed confrontation and heightened self-awareness.
Nerve City, who’ll be performing as a full band, delivers quieter, more opaque surf arrangements that have appeared on labels from Severed Hand Records to Kill Shaman.
Basically, imagine yourself at a sweaty South Florida house party: the Jacuzzi Boys are the loudly vivacious centers of attention, Nerve City is that guy by himself in the corner and Cop City/ Chill Pillars are the three dudes that made it onto the roof (just to chill.)
Each of the three bands represents a different streak of rock ‘n’ roll – if we should even call it that anymore – and they come from an underground scene not usually billed on South Beach. Seeing these bands in a big production, one that the Fillmore can provide, will expose the unyielding lust for live, guitar-driven performance, even though each band caters to a separate, carnal sonic need.