Adding to the stew of above-par music kicking off 2010 is Surfer Blood's debut Astro Coast
. Straight to the point with ten tracks and a standard five-piece setup, Surfer Blood mixes grungy guitar riffs with over-'verbed vocals and versatile percussion, concocting a successful blend of rock's finest past and present offerings.
Despite being a little sluggish as a tone-setter, the opening track is driven by subtle percussive changes and a vocal melody that will burn itself into your brain for the better part of the day. Immediately following is the album's single, "Swim"--a rally-style anthem evoking the pop rock sound of the late 90s and providing a wake up call to anyone who may have drifted during the first track's drawn out ending. In fact, just seconds into the song it becomes apparent that the two tracks have very little in common at all.
Such is the case with all of the tunes on Astro Coast
, much to the band's credit. While every track boasts at least one distinct element of a specific genre of rock, be it lo-fi vocals, punk rock-ish riffs, or piercing guitar solos, the album as a whole can be difficult to describe to would-be fans. While that may look problematic from a structured marketing standpoint, it becomes relatively moot on the independent scene because most indie fans are already swimming in eclecticism in the first place.
Even more important is the fact that Surfer Blood is good
at being eclectic. Though it's true that the songs on Astro Coast
don't have a terrible lot in common, they somehow still manage to fit together as distinctly from one band. From love songs referencing David Lynch to instrumentals comprised of repetitive riffs, Surfer Blood manages to slip into each tune so snugly that they frequently make the mistake of going on for too long, risking lost attention spans and even interest.
But the likelihood of zoning out aside, Astro Coast
ultimately is as successful as it is robust. With continued expectations of variety mixed into good, clean, rock n' roll music, keep an eye on Surfer Blood as we continue to steamroll along into the new decade.
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MP3: Surfer Blood - "Harmonix" (Astro Coast)
Surfer Blood on Myspace