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Surfer Blood
Astro Coast - KANINE
FILTER Grade: 83%

By Adam Conner-Simons on February 25, 2010


Surfer Blood

As incongruous as the outfit’s name might sound, “Surfer Blood” somewhat aptly encompasses a brand of sunny indie-rock frosted with darker experimental flourishes. The Florida foursome’s debut Astro Coast is dominated by distorted three-chord power-pop numbers like “Twin Peaks” and the Weezer-esque “Swim.” Listen closely for unexpected surprises sprinkled throughout, such as the sudden arrival of strangely vocoded harmonies at the end of “Anchorage,” or the delicate transition of “Take It Easy” from hopping African pop to chugging disco-punk. John Paul Pitts’ hazy cracked-falsetto—vaguely reminiscent of The ShinsJames Mercer—inadvertently pushes his dreamy words about beaches and unrequited love into the background. No matter: The star of the show here is ultimately the group’s tuneful popcraft and its subtly gloomy underbelly.

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