» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Surfer Blood
Astro Coast

Rating: 5.5/10 ?

January 29, 2010
Of the recent gaggle of summery guitar bands the internet is currently hard for, Surfer Blood has the coolest name and easily the coolest album art (can't go wrong with a checkered picture of a great white in action) but after jumping off to a fast start with "Floating Vibes" and the justifiably-lauded "Swim (to reach the end)," it seems like they run out of tricks.

Yes, the guitars are cool, alternating craftily between spindly Afro-surf leads and power chord catharsis. At times they even come across as a skulking, musclebound take on other recent buzz inheritors like Real Estate or some of the more direct material on the Girls album. But the problem is the songs: the lyrics often come across as something for lead singer John Paul Pitts to sing over their more elaborate arrangements (elaborate yes, interesting only occasionally). And indeed, as the arrangements grow more elaborate, the melodies holding them together get stretched thinner and thinner over the course of an album that started so effortlessly, ironically everything the nu-Afropop bandwagon-hopping "Take It Easy" is not.

Thing is, Vampire Weekend and Dirty Projectors seem to have respect for how elaborate those rhythms really can be and seem to genuinely love the palate of sound that they provide. Loving the source material is far more important than loving what others do with it. Which brings me to the true issue here; even at its best this whole record sounds like a band who wants to make an impact by trying to be everything to everyone. And because they're not too good at everything they do yet, this lack of a definitive identity that makes it difficult to take them seriously (or if this is their definitive identity, they're just boring). The simplicity of the lyrics and guitar lines suggest a band slightly less devious than a complicit cash-in, but it still doesn't make for much consistent entertainment.

Reviewed by Cory Tendering
No biographical information is currently available.

See other reviews by Cory Tendering



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