CD Review: Surfer Blood

Astro Coast (Kanine)

While their classmates were racking up debt at the college bookstore, the guys in Surfer Blood put their scholarship money to use buying musical equipment. The four were University of Florida freshmen when they wrote and recorded Astro Coast in their dorm room. The results are as fresh and vibrant as their band name, a casual reference to an activity none of them did. Killer guitar riffs and reverb-soaked surf-rock echo noisily through an album that draws comparisons to early Weezer and the Pixies. The best track is "Harmonix," where a simple, repeated guitar figure forms the chill core of the song, as the bass scratches funkily alongside. Touches of Vampire Weekend wiggle into the lopsided cowbell-embellished "Take It Easy," and on "Neighbor Riffs," Florida sun melts a head-bopping instrumental into something sweet and pure. Astro Coast is bombastic without being overwhelming; the sweeping drums and hollow vocals balance out the distortion. Surfer Blood find the fine line between big, overproduced anthemic rock and an unfinished sound. — Sills

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