Surfer Blood: Astro Coast

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This indie band from Florida seems primed to break into whatever sort of big time there is out there these days (lots of followers on Twitter?!?).  Astro Coast is engaging guitar rock that blends experimentation and main stream hooks excellently while putting a high value on sing-a-longs and riffing out. This is a surprisingly strong rookie offering and the easiest comparison to draw would be Weezer’s Blue Album as JP Pitts has an air of young Rivers Cuomo about him. The opener “Floating Vibes” is a perfect example of this linking, containing harmonies, cymbal crashes, great lyrics and a straight driving beat; in fact Weezer would kill for a track this good nowadays.  On the sound/production tip, Astro Coast playss as if it was recorded at the mouth of a cave; echoes and distortion gloriously warble around the edges adding a spacey dimension.

The single “Swim” is grandiose with its chanted chorus, shaking tambourine and the massive Cheap Trick-esque guitar lines, a real powerhouse.  There are flashes that call to mind Built to Spill (“Anchorage”) Modest Mouse (“Slow Jabroni”) and The Cure (“Fast Jabroni”) yet even with all these heroes worn on their sleeve in the end Surfer Blood manage to produce Astro Coast in their own vibrant voice.  The closer “Catholic Pagans” is a peach combining inventive lyrics with clean/distorted guitars, leaving the listener with a memorable tune and a smile while ending a pulsing first album from Surfer Blood.     

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