Surfer Blood serves as precursor to a surf rock revival

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I think I’ve finally figured it out! Apparently at the beginning of each decade of music, we start all over again in the 1960s and slowly travel our way up until the late 80s and start it all over again when the next decade comes.

Have no idea what I’m talking about? Well, back in 2001 The Strokes and The White Stripes brought back the sounds of The Ramones and The Clash in a grand garage–rock revival and an overwhelming influx of “The” bands.

As we moved forward, we had a heavily folk–rock–influenced indie genre emerge thanks to Bright Eyes and Arcade Fire, and then the post-punk revival bands like Interpol and The Killers emerged.

At the end of the decade, we saw the rise of dance-punk bands (who are influenced by a myriad of styles like new wave, punk, disco and sometimes folk) like LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip.

Now I know I just way oversimplified the last decade in music, but it makes my point more fun. Because apparently we’ve gone back to the 60s to experience (drumroll): a surfer-rock revival!

This, finally, brings me to the topic of my review: Surfer Blood’s “Astro Coast.” The great news about a surfer–rock revival is that we are about to be flooded with a wave of really fun bands, and Surfer Blood is no exception.
The fun kicks in instantly on “Floating Vibes” and doesn’t stop even for a slow song like “Slow Jabroni.”

To be fair, Surfer Blood is more than Beach Boys 2.0. They successfully encompass many styles like afro–rock, alt–rock and garage–rock into one tubular mix of accessible tunes. On my personal favorite, “Swim,” Surfer Blood lets it all hang loose and simply aims to rock out.

This song features a very catchy and singable chorus, a mild bridge and a badass solo section. It’s a three–minute song that never relents; in fact, you won’t want the song to end because it is just so damn catchy and fun. I can definitely see this song becoming an early spring or summer anthem as the beaches start to open up.

While Surfer Blood knows how to rock, that doesn’t mean that they are just a power chord band. On “Take It Easy,” another favorite, Surfer Blood weaves complex riffs into this surfer–rock/afro–beat–heavy song. Indeed, all of the tracks feature skilled musicians creating fun music.

Often, rock musicians get too mired in trying to sound “pretty” and complex and forget how to simply rock. Sadly, there haven’t been too many albums that are both musically well written and rock; luckily, Surfer Blood is here to add to that short list. If you are a fan of Weezer’s earlier albums and/or any Pixies record you will love this record.

And if you end up liking it, well, there’s some good news: Surfer Blood is coming to Allegheny with Turbo Fruits at Grounds for Change on March 8. It’s part of “WARCh Madness,” a week of concerts sponsored by WARC featuring shows by two other bands: The Giraffes on March 6 and Le Loup on March 13. So listen to the album and get ready to Hang Ten with Surfer Blood and other bands.

P.S.: sorry for all the surfing puns.

WARC’s Weekly Top 5

1. “Teen Dream,” by Beach  
     House
2. “Contra,” by Vampire
     Weekend
3. “Causers of This,” by Toro
     y Moi
4. “Fall Be Kind [EP]” by
     Animal Collective   
5. “Transference,” by Spoon

Tune in to WARC at 90.3 FM to hear these albums and much more.

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