Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Surfer Blood - Astro Coast

Reverb on high and the let the sound echo through your house and head: here’s another new American band which has looked into the long history west-coast surf, garage and beautiful Beach Boys melodies, even though they Surfer Blood hails from Florida. Where the Soft Pack (earlier reviewed) stray more towards the dark garage and the Drums to pop, Surfer Blood is more adventurous.

That they like a dare is evident from the first song which believe it or not is actually about surfing. The surf sound is continued in the single, and Explorer #1, ‘Swim’ with its multitracked guitars and vocals to give it a spacey sound. The break in the middle is absolutely brilliant. The same recipe is used in ‘Twin Peaks’ which is almost a copy of ‘Swim’. But if you copy something great, it’s still very good if you do it well.

That they can go into other styles is evident in ‘Take it Easy’ which could easily have been on the latest Vampire Weekend record. ‘Catholic Pagan’ has the funny lyrics working for it and is the most Weezer-like song and the instrumental ‘Neighbor Riffs’ would not be out of sync on a Pixies/Breeders collection of B-sides or even a Pavement throwaway album (and I mean that with the greatest respect).

There are a few songs that are forgettable and will make you press skip sooner rather than later like ‘Harmonix’, ‘Slow Jabroni’ or ‘Anchorage’.

Best song on the album might be the shoegazing ‘Fast Jabroni’ which evokes Santogold’s ‘Lights Out’. The extra instrumentation and supereasy but effective solo make it a song to be remembered.

It’s an album to be remembered. If you delete the forgettable songs you will still end up with a great album. (4,5 stars)

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