On the day of Worship and rest, shred titans The Jacuzzi Boys, King Tuff and Wavves made their reign supreme at the Wonder Ballroom in Northeast Portland. It was the final night of the bands cross-country tour, so naturally the night became a carnival of drunken debauchery, on and off stage. Needless to say, it was one of the most fun shows Rip City Review has seen in a while.
The night began with Floridian swamp-monsters, Jacuzzi Boys. The JB’s had the classic “we make rock, drop your panties” stage presence, however their songs proved to have a much funkier, quirkier energy. JB’s sound has a Miami soul with a surf-rock body. The boys latest album, Glazin’ showboats their talents like a Miss America swimsuit competition. Fuzzy coolness, tight chord progressions and sunny riffs. However, something about Glazin’ is different than the slue of surf-psychedelia that’s popped up around the country. These boys write really, really good songs. There’s a certain amount of lyrical tenacity that the band has seemed to master, like the bluntness of an older sister mixed with the impulsive drunk text to an unrequited love. They never take themselves too seriously either, I’m going to take a stab in the dark and guess that a day in the recording studio with these dudes would be a blast. They write about crushes and girls and L.A. with a sense of aloofness and child-like honesty. All in all, RCR is fan-girling over Jacuzzi Boys. In fact, their whole stage performance seems like a scene from “Rock’n’Roll High School,” including headbangs and screaming ladies in the audience.
But if you really want to talk stage performance, King Tuff may have taken the crown this Sunday. Although these macabre-pop rockers put out a heck of a vinyl, their live performance is what will really make your nipples hard. King Tuff has classic banter with the crowd, one of RCR’s favorite precursors to a song was, “this is a song about walking down the street and looking fucking cool, you KNOW what I mean.” They also easily have the most elaborate merchandise table, equipped with the “Merch Witch” who will convince you to buy all the goods with her wicked awesome spells. Their songs are undeniably catchy and spooky and badass. It’s like if The Beach Boys, Black Sabbath and that goth band at your junior high did a “collabo”.
Wavves was the final act of the final show of the tour , a grand finale of sorts. Although megababe Nathan Williams and the rest of his San Diegan stoner crew were pretty inebriated, they played with enough gusto to please the punk Gods. And Rip City Review would argue that the drunken debauchery happening on stage made the night weirdly special. Wavves played their earlier songs (“Green Eyes” and “No Hope Kids”), but played a handful of songs off the new album, Afraid of Heights, which arguably is their strongest effort so far. Although the production value of Afraid of Heights loses a lot of the garage-swagger the band had in the past, none of that gets lost on stage. Screaming self-loathing lyrics with a catchy chord-progressions, Wavves was the perfectly messy end to a perfectly intoxicated night.