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Surfer Blood - More fun than jelly fish!,
This review is from: Astro Coast (Audio CD)
3.5 to 4 stars
Any group that mixes the Pixies, Weezer, the Beach Boys, the Velvets and Vampire Weekend is fine by me. The band in question is Surfer Blood who hail from West Palm Beach in Florida and according to My Space comprise Messrs John Paul Pitts, TJ Schwarz, Thomas Fekete, Brian Black. Their name suggests a fearsome outfit conjuring images of the broken limbs and deep cuts amongst the surfing fraternity (not really helped by the album cover). Are they then a sort of the Dead Kennedys for the beach?
Actually they are tremendous fun and one of the best power pop/rock outfits I have heard since Cheap Trick. I have no idea what a "Fast Jabroni" is other than this song has all the force of the Pixies "Waves of Mutilation", a glorious vocal and as much pure drive as Formula 1 car. Great stuff
When you listen to "Take it Easy" suddenly images of Vampire Weekend are conjured up, alternatively the brilliant single "Swim" rocks out with a huge choruses unitl yet again a African sounding guitar breaks in mid way. For some reason it reminds me of the Welsh band Feeder in their Echo Park era (what happened to them?). "Neighbourhood riffs" is a great instrumental that could soundtrack a Tarantino film while "Harmonix" is a slower and more gentle. The best song on the album however is "Floating Vibes" full of bouncy reverb and so hook laden it could catch fish. Pitchfork has described the album as a "relentlessly catchy, "classic indie" album in your own dorm room" and I suppose that is also its weakness. Surfer Blood are perhaps a little bit too clever on times and certainly not ploughing a furrow that is wildly original or distinctive. Nevertheless Astro Coast is a very assured debut and once the band properly figure out their direction they could be huge. For now just have fun.