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Solid & Promising Debut,
This review is from: Astro Coast (Audio CD)
Well in a yesr which is likely to be dominated by 'Arty types' such as Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem and Beach House, it is actually quite refreshing to hear something a little more down-to-earth.
Surfer Blood are a good old fashioned 4 piece band hailing from Florida, USA. They have clearly listened to the works of Built To Spill and Weezer (which is certainly no bad thing) and incorpareted it into a debut which is firmly grounded in the guitar/bass/drums tradition but does feature some lovely hooks and melodies with which to lose one's self in.
The first song to really hit you is lead-off single 'Swim', with it's driving drum beats and anthemic chorus it sounds a little like The Hold Steady writing a song for the festival season. Lead singer John Paul Pitts seemingly sings of jealousy arising from men towards his beautiful girl and how they must 'Swim to reach the end', it does'nt make a lot of sense but hey, that's not what this records about, it's all about having a shamelessly good time for 30 minutes or so. Highlights of the album include the surf guitar instrumental 'Harmonix' which leads into (future single?) 'Neighbour Riffs', the double-barreled gutshot that is 'Fast Jabroni' & 'Slow Jabroni' and the wonderfully (early) Weezer-esque finale 'Catholic Pagans'.
If your looking for a glimpse of where this band could head for record 2 search out the aforementioned 'Slow Jabroni', which as the name suggests is a slow 6-minute drone which does'nt sound too dissimilar to Texan rock band The Black Angles or indeed 'Perfect From Now On' era Built To Spill. The song builds slowly for the first 4 and a half minutes but then quickly changes tempo and builds into a beautifully melodic finish, which then leads into penultimate track 'Anchorage' which also holds a resemblence towards Doug Martsch 's 1997 masterpeice. If Surfer Blood can incorparate this style over an entire album whilst also search for a sound of their own, we could be in for a real treat, meanwhile buy this album if your looking for a good old fashioned American college rock record.