Surfer Blood play "Harmonix" live at The Chop Suey in Seattle, WA for Live Eye Tv. [44MB]
Wide expanses of indie pop are covered on Surfer Blood's self-produced debut, Astro Coast. Recorded in a dorm room at the University of Florida, Astro Coast's guitar driven nostalgia harkens back to the golden days of college rock...oh say, 1988, when bands like The Pixies, R.E.M., The Replacements, and Violent Femmes provided outstanding, quirky alternatives to the INXS-crap of commercial radio. The band began recording Astro Coast in a studio, but quickly became unhappy with the sound their engineer was steering them towards, and so scraped the studio and turned to the next obvious choice, their dorm room! Surfer Blood achieve quite interesting results in this environment, at times big, full and loud, and where needed covering the room with just the right amount of reverb or effects to give the album it's garagey lo-fi appeal. While some of the bands more recent influences such as Ra Ra Riot, Vampire Weekend, or the Shins might not yet be be fully assimilated or digested, the young band makes good use of them, creating an albums worth of intriguing songs backed by strong playing. For instance, "Floating Vibes", the albums first track, busts out a grungy, low-end riff that might have opened a Pixies album, before before setting sail for sunnier Shines-like guitar tones and vocal harmonies, with singer JP Pitts wry lyrics and ear for irony turning a phrase with a poets aplomb. In addition, Surfer Blood have taken the time to craft an album, providing a great listen from song to song and side to side. Not really sunny West Coast surfing done here, hell the band doesn't even surf, as the songs are often lyrically tinged with degrees of post-collegiate introspection and longing, or musically covered in echoey reverb or dustings of sonic crust. In fact, for the second half of the album the day seems to draw late on a song like "Slow Jabroni", with wind and clouds blowing in early, leaving us to stand wistfully in dripping wet suits to stare at the cold blue...Astro Coast is out now on Kanine Records and as the band has just embarked on a several month cross country tour, it's quite likely Surfer Blood are aiming the van to your town!
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