Surfer Blood: Astro Coast
posted by dpm on 02/16/2010
Musically, you could count the number of standout performers the Sunshine State has produced on one hand. However, when Surfer Blood was born from West Palm Beach, any notion that the music scene of Florida had gone stale was soon laid to rest. Caught somewhere between a Redbull-suffused Beach Boys, and the glossy art-rock of the Velvet Underground, Surfer Blood brightly ignites the shoreline with their 2010 freshman gift, Astro Coast.
Surfer Blood, has successfully bred two polar opposites without producing an ugly fruit. They’ve taken the cresting wave of dreamy, seaside surf guitar and echoing vocals, and coupled them with the perturbed, gruff edginess wholly reminiscent of the early days of Seattle grunge. Due to this healthy slant in both directions, I am convinced that this is a glimpse at the formula for what’s to become of indie rock in the not-too-distant future. I mean, how could a band that smartly nods its hat to the misanthropic director David Lynch in an aptly named, teen-angst song “Twin Peaks”, be overlooked? The answer is it can’t.
Astro Coast peels out at the starting line with “Floating Vibes”, a song thick with reverb, and laden with a cool, beach breeziness. After that we hear the crowd pleasing, “Swim”. Released as their first single a while back, “Swim” does what any good rock song should do—it abducts the listener, fully engages them in a big choral sing-along, then spits them back out onto the paved highway like a dazed and hungry zombie. “Take it Easy” and “Harmonix” are both stand alone tracks, confident enough to flaunt some of the more prominent influences of yesterday and today. So good are these songs, that I wanted to light some tiki-torches and host a beach party after hearing them. Midway through, the singer takes a break and joins the rest of the band in a concise onslaught of retro ‘70s surf breakdowns on “Neighbour Riffs”. After “Twin Peaks”, “Fast Jabroni” takes the stage, whirling together an insatiable blend of glittery love and intense garage band. “Slow Jabroni” begs your ears to listen closely to a slow textural saturation, and “Anchorage”, another six-minute-and-change thunderclap to the mind, follows securely behind. “Catholic Pagans” is the final song, and at a little over three-minutes long, delivers a quasi-Weezer experience, stuffed to the gills with a generous portion of nerd-rock sensibility.
For $5.99 on Amazon.com, you can’t beat the deal for such a highly touted gem. In fact, I guarantee you’ll be sneaking songs from these guys onto the next mix you make for your honey, or you’ll be stoking out to them while waiting for the next burn at the Motherlode. (For upcoming shows, check them out at: www.myspace.com/surferblood)
by Chris Duca