While their classmates were racking up debt at the college bookstore, the guys of Surfer Blood put their scholarship money to another use: musical equipment. The four were freshmen at the University of Florida when they penned and recorded Astro Coast in their dorm room. The results are as fresh and vibrant as their band name, a casual reference to a sport none of them ever really favored. Killer guitar riffs and reverb-soaked surf rock echo noisily through an album that’s drawing comparisons to early Weezer and the Pixies. Best is “Harmonix,” where a simple, repeated guitar interval forms the chill core of the song and the bass scratches funkily alongside. Touches of Vampire Weekend wiggle into the lopsided cowbell-embellished “Take It Easy,” and in “Neighbor Riffs,” Florida sun melts a head-bopping instrumental into something sweet and pure. Surfer Blood find the fine line between big, over-produced anthemic rock and the “unfinished” sound some DIY bands suffer from. Astro Coast is bombastic without overwhelming; the sweeping of the drums and the hollow vocals balance out the guitar’s distortion. It’s one of those albums that’ll get you through the winter, and sound just as good when summer arrives.
Surfer Blood - Harmonix