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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Surfer Blood - Astro Coast: B+

"Swim", the first single from Surfer Blood's debut album, never struck me as Astro Coast's highlight as much as many other publications proclaimed. In fact, I see that song in the context of the rest of the album as an outlier; the comical amount of reverb and admittedly anthemic chorus awkward juxtaposed with the clean guitar jams surrounding the track. Instead, I'm more partial to "Floating Vibes". Its speaker-rattling treble and general buoyancy is a much better representation of the elements that make Surfer Blood's debut such an enriching experience.

If you like "Floating Vibes", you'll enjoy the rest of Astro Coast. The album is thoroughly pleasant if not consistent, but never bereft of variance. Don't like "Fast Jabroni"? Perhaps you'll like "Slow Jabroni". And if not then, maybe the bouncy "Twin Peaks" is more your style, or the smooth "Harmonics", or the penultimate track, "Take It Easy". Don't like any of that? Eh, who needs ya.

In a way, Surfer Blood have released the perfect debut album. Astro Coast establishes a definite sound with some major songwriting potential at work, but never peaks early. There is much room for improvement and plenty to expand upon for future releases. This isn't the last we'll hear of Surfer Blood, and Astro Coast puts the band in a nice position to have an excellent career.


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