Astro Coast: A fun album from a band that will catch on quickly

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Artist: Surfer Blood
Album: Astro Coast

Home town: West Palm Beach, Fla.
Label: Kanine Records
Score: 7.0/10

Surfer Blood has been making waves (terrible pun, I know) on the national indie scene since their single “Swim (To Reach the End)” took the Interweb by storm during the latter half of 2009. The Pitchfork-aided hype was imminent, as the track’s reverb-heavy, pop-tinged, power-chord rock and washed-out, melodic vocal shouts made for a perfect late-summer anthem. “Swim” was on plenty of “best of 2009” lists, and just weeks into 2010 the Florida quartet has released their anticipated debut Astro Coast. The 10-track album takes everything good about “Swim” and builds on it, creating an LP that sounds like a sunny-day skate down a Los Angeles boardwalk.

Though Surfer Blood sticks to the same formula throughout the entire record – layers of fuzzy guitar riffs with a pop skeleton, harmonious vocals that have drawn numerous of Brian Wilson comparisons and more than a few memorable hooks – they change it up just enough to keep things interesting. Whether it’s the funky, calypso-style bounce of “Take It Easy,” chilled-out harmonic plucks of “Harmonix” (bet you can’t guess how they came up with that title), or keyboard/string/xylophone accents on “Fast Jabroni,” the band is able to create varied feels from track to track. However, Surfer Blood is at its best when they stick to their guns rather than try to get too cute. Their solid, lo-fi garage-style riffs on songs like “Floating Vibes,” “Neighbour Riffs” and “Anchorage” are the band’s most redeeming quality and that gets lost on some of the album’s other tracks. Nevertheless, Astro Coast is a fun listen and a commendable first release from a band that will undoubtedly continue to catch on quickly.

Mike Ramos

About Mike Ramos

Mike Ramos is an awful person who was born in ancient Hong Kong. He is over 3,000 years old and remembers the names of all the forgotten gods. He is 90 stories tall, and his adventures are legendary.