Saturday, August 4, 2012
Tarot Classics - Surfer Blood
Having heard Surfer Blood a couple of times on college radio, I had a picture of them in my mind as being some sort of hipster indie rock band. When I saw them live at the Getty last year, I was really surprised. They were so clean cut and young, they looked more like a group of collegiate Young Republicans than a rock band. Then they started to rock and I saw that images can indeed be deceiving. They delivered a high energy performance, John Paul Pitts can really shred. I was so impressed that I bought this EP when it came out last fall. It is a really nice package. It comes on teal colored vinyl with a bonus live DVD of a gig in Brooklyn. There are four songs on side one and a couple of remixes on side two as well as additional remixes of all the songs available for download including three by Sune Rose Wagner of the Raveonettes. If you count the downloads, there are 11 songs altogether. I'm not into remixes but I'm happy to have them. The four songs that constitute the EP are all really good. They are basically guitar-driven, power pop. My favorite is the fast-paced single, "Miranda." It is about a guy trying to hang onto a disintegrating relationship. It is such a catchy and accessible song, it ought to have made it on to commercial alternative rock radio. Why do people like hearing the same old Foo Fighters and Green Day songs over and over, this is so much better. "I'm Not Ready" is nearly as good. It is loaded with hooks and a steady beat. It dissects a bad friend. "Miranda" segues directly into "Voyager Reprise" via a stimulating guitar break. It is a propulsive song in a similar style to "Miranda" that describes feelings of confusion and repression. The final song, "Drinking Problem" is less super-charged than the other three songs. It features a multi-tracked vocal from Pitts, a lengthy feedback passage and a steady compelling beat. It describes another bad friend. The flip side has Totally Sincere's re-mix of "Voyager Reprise" which substitutes more pronounced percussion and bass for the guitar riffs of the original. I don't approve, but it is definitely better for dancing. It is followed by Speculator's re-mix of "Drinking Problem" which brings the song's feedback to the front of the mix with a heavier rhythm track. This one I like quite a bit. Surfer Blood may not be the most original band around, but I really enjoy this EP and I have been playing it a lot. Recommended to fans of the Posies and Sloan.