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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great new band with a lot of great influences
After changing their name from Jabroni Sandwich in the spring of 2009, Surfer Blood generated a great deal of hype in the months that followed leading up to the release of Astro Coast, their debut album. On December 14, 2009, Pitchfork even listed Surfer Blood's lead single, "Swim (to reach the end)," as number thirty-seven on their list of the 100 best tracks of...
Published on January 23, 2010 by J. Loudon

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is Not Surf Rock, but It's Pretty Great
I know they have the word "surf" in their name, but despite what many writers claim, Sufer Blood do not actually have anything to do with surf rock. Maybe a little Pixies, a little Sonic Youth, a little Weezer, but no Ventures or Beach Boys here. This album is kinda like Never Mind the Bollocks in that four skyscrapers of a song tower over the landscape: "Harmonix",...
Published on July 23, 2010 by mvsrocks


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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great new band with a lot of great influences, January 23, 2010
By 
J. Loudon (Nashville, TN) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Astro Coast (Audio CD)
After changing their name from Jabroni Sandwich in the spring of 2009, Surfer Blood generated a great deal of hype in the months that followed leading up to the release of Astro Coast, their debut album. On December 14, 2009, Pitchfork even listed Surfer Blood's lead single, "Swim (to reach the end)," as number thirty-seven on their list of the 100 best tracks of 2009.

Although Surfer Blood's name and the occasional use of a tremolo pedal might put them up against bands like the Beach Boys, the majority of their album is straight up indie rock. Every song seems to have glimpses of the beach, but their overall sound is much more complex. Astro Coast opens with "Floating Vibes," an incredibly catchy pop track which presents the surfer influence briefly halfway through with the use of heavy reverb and Dick Dale stylistic picking before returning to the fuzzed out guitar and driving drums that make the song memorable. There seems to be a heavy Silversun Pickups influence in the guitar tone which works exceptionally well for this song. The same influence is also present on the ninth track, "Anchorage."

The first single "Swim" follows "Floating Vibes" with what I can only describe as Animal Collective meets Weezer's "blue album." Every song on the album appears to pull ideas from a different band so it's no wonder this song led Surfer Blood to be instantly described as "Weezer-esque" without having heard anything else on the record. Vocals saturated with reverb lead the way on what will no doubt be a crowd favorite when performed live.

The final clear influence that can be heard in Surfer Blood's music is Vampire Weekend. This comparison is most easily drawn from the tracks, "Take It Easy" and "Fast Jabroni." It's possible fans of Vampire Weekend may shun Surfer Blood's music on account of being too similar, but the album as a whole successfully blends so many styles that I still consider this an incredibly successful debut. With a nod to David Lynch on "Twin Peaks" and the word "jabroni" in two of their track names, it's clear they wanted to let their fans know a little about them and how they got their start. They're young and still fairly new at making music together so I have no doubt they will only improve from here on out. Look for them to take the college market by storm this year.

Similar Artists: Vampire Weekend, Silversun Pickups

Track Suggestion: Floating Vibes
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surfer Blood - Astro Coast, January 19, 2010
This review is from: Astro Coast (Audio CD)
The first thing I thought when I listened to this record was that they had managed to perfectly recreate the guitar tone of Autolux, one of the great obscure space rock bands. In a way, this album is like the Future Perfect sequel that never happened, and for me, that's a very positive thing. The songs feature a definite surf-style slant, but the textures and tones are 100% indie rock. If you don't get swept away with the first track, this record probably isn't for you, but certainly, this will be a highly regarded debut by year's end. Expect some very positive reviews pouring out in the next few days.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a discovery!, February 11, 2011
By 
Nickel Peterson (Litchfield,Connecticut) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Astro Coast (MP3 Music)
Okay so tucked DEEP within a copy of a December Rolling Stone Magazine (which I don't even get but picked up at the gym) there was a teeny tiny reference to Surfer Blood and Astro Coast. Oh man, I didn't think Rolling Stone was even relevant anymore until I searched out this CD and the band.....WOW! Awesome! I'm an instant fan - you can count me in!

It may just be me but in the reverb and hammering basslines peppered all the way through here I'm hearing something else which is perhaps not surprisingly The National from a few years ago but going MUCH further back a very obscure band called Blue in Heaven who were from Europe someplace, maybe Ireland, and had a rocking CD called "All the God's Men" which is probably not even in print anymore. I'd have to check. In any case, this is amazing new stuff from a band with an entirely original perspective. It DOES make me think of the beach, warm climates and a weekend off. I'll be turning my friends on to this one for sure!!Thanks for a great CD!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is Not Surf Rock, but It's Pretty Great, July 23, 2010
By 
mvsrocks (NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Astro Coast (Audio CD)
I know they have the word "surf" in their name, but despite what many writers claim, Sufer Blood do not actually have anything to do with surf rock. Maybe a little Pixies, a little Sonic Youth, a little Weezer, but no Ventures or Beach Boys here. This album is kinda like Never Mind the Bollocks in that four skyscrapers of a song tower over the landscape: "Harmonix", "Swim", "Floating Vibes", and "Twin Peaks". That shouldn't diminish the other songs in any way though, since not every building can be the Empire State Building. The Flat Iron building and the Chrysler Building are pretty cool too. Lead singer JP laces his songs with water imagery (besides "Swim" and "Floating Vibes" there's also "Anchorage". And the album's called Astro Coast. And there's a picture of a shark's mouth on the cover). This is great, anthemic, jangly guitar rock, with echo-y vocals that refreshingly strain at times to convey a little extra emotion. It's an easy, summertime album to vibe too, but if I had to guess I'd say these guys are more destined to be the Toadies than Smashing Pumpkins. But that's not a dig, because the Toadies were pretty damn good too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars... Excellent debut album (and great live act too), September 29, 2010
This review is from: Astro Coast (Audio CD)
Surfer Blood is an up-and-coming indie band from West Palm Beach, which has steadily been rising due to internet-buzz. They only formed in early 2009, if you can believe it (meeting/forming after the Ultra Music Festival in Miami). They released their highly anticipated album earlier this year.

"Astro Coast" (10 tracks; 41 min.) starts off with a thundering "Floating Vibes", then going into "Swim" (1st single), a delicious tune. The great tracks follow: "Take It Easy" reminds me of Vampire Weekend; "Harmonix" is a more pensive tune; the first half of the album concludes with the delicious short 2 min. instrumental "Neighbour Riffs". The 2nd half of the album kicks off with "Twin Peaks", the least memorable track on here. The best of the album is yet to come, though: 2 long (6+ min.) tracks, the first of which is "Slow Jabroni", which is slow to develop but eventually builds into an epic tune; it is followed by "Anchorage", perhaps the signature sing on here, with an uptempo beat that just mesmorizes you. In all, quite the debut album!

I had the good fortune of catching Surfer Blood this past weekend at the MidPoint Music Festival here in Cincinnati, and what a show they put on. Singer/guitarist JP Pitts was in great form, and they played most of the songs of the album (curiously not "Slow Jabroni", though), and a couple of new songs. Can't wait to see where this band will go from here! Meanwhile, "Astro Coast" is highly recommended!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid debut, January 25, 2010
This review is from: Astro Coast (Audio CD)
I stumbled upon this album by accident as I do with a lot of new music that is just beginning to make its way 'round the blogosphere, and sometimes accidents are good. This album is highly cohesive for a debut and while it heavily borrows from other band's repertoires this is not a bad thing, if there is a successful formula then tweak it for your own benefit. Sorry if this review rambles a bit, I just felt like covering all the tracks.

The first track I heard was Floating Vibes, which is an excellent way to open an album and is a snapshot of what one can expect from this band. The e-string is just pounded again and again to create a catchy little melody which sets up the rest of the bands entry, I immediately was reminded of Pavement and the Beach Boys on holiday, if only for the singer's delivery. "Swim" is next and this is their single that has been out for a while, it too is a great song, in fact I can't really find a bad one on this album, in any event it begins with a bombast of distorted vocals and guitars, rousing into the chorus which surely will be a crowd sing-along and highlight. The third track, "Take it Easy" reminds me of Vampire Weekends African influenced tracks, but not heavily Vampire Weekended, it is clearly the band doing their own interpretation and by the chorus it changes into a straight up pop song. The fourth track, "Harmonix" is possibly my favorite on the album, there is a staccato riff that sounds and then stops for a few seconds throughout most of the song and takes a backseat to singer and the drums, but the best part of the song is the chorus which dissolves into a wash of noise sort of like MBV lite. The song finishes with the same riff, going on perhaps too long and repetitively, however it's spell counters any boredom for me. Track 5 is "Neighbor Riffs" which is an instrumental track, thus garnering the worst track in my opinion, and it's not a bad track, it just doesn't have any vocals. "Twin Peaks" is next, a great catchy riff perpetuates the track which seems to be about teenage sexual experiences in college, sounds of people talking perhaps at a party appears in an instrument section. Track 7 is "Fast Jabroni" which is followed by "Slow Jabroni", and yes the fast one is the faster track. Fast Jabroni reminds me of the Stone Roses for some reason, while Slow Jabroni begins very slowly and rather boring for me, but at about the half way mark it transforms into a wonderful sped up riff that reminds me of the longer songs done by The Shins, basically these guys have studied their influences and its great. "Anchorage" is the longest track by about 20 seconds and this is very early Modest Mouse-Built to Spill in structure alone, the vocals don't recall Isaac Brock at all. It finishes with a 2-3 minute instrumental breakdown high-lighting really the only "soloing" done on the album. The album raps up with "Catholic Pagans" which begins with a wonderful guitar melody and a backing guitar that strums a quick almost Italian restaurant eating music riff before stopping for the vocals to come in. The main guitar riff is a repeated, warm toned riff that instantly made me think of "shady lane" by Pavement, this track is my second favorite, its a true gem.

All in all this album is a 9/10 for me, it's about as good a debut as you could ask from guys in their early 20's, if any indication of their musical abilities we should expect great things from Surfer Blood. The album is going for $5.99 digital download off Amazon, its the cheapest best album I've ever gotten.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, October 2, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Astro Coast (Audio CD)
One of the best albums I've ever bought. Never gets old. Great for rocking out on road trips, and friends usually dig it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Balancing Artists, June 27, 2011
This review is from: Astro Coast (Audio CD)
This record was recorded in the singer's apartment and has a reverb-heavy mix that is sometimes
bettered by shows put up on video sites--e.g., ones at KEXP and allsaints.
Their next record is apparently to come out on WB and is a conventional studio affair--
but even on "Astro" these guys are musical as all get out--they appreciate dynamics, space, and textures,
and they have rare, cool balance between
melody and driving changes
the clean and the noisy
the major and the minor
the nifty little arpeggio and the thunderous note,
and between wit and unease.
It's this last quality that links them in emotional tone to recent indie pop,
but a kind of droll glum-ness is pretty common in a lot of ironic rock'n'roll, going back to the Kinks, say.
These guys have roots that wind through Yo La Tengo and the Pixies and go back to 60s guitar bands, as their name suggests,
though as they say in interviews, there's not much literally surf-y about them (and they have
next to nothing in common with the Beach Boys, though their name invites that question).
The songs "Floating Vibes" and Twin Peaks" are remarkable examples of their song-structures and guitar smarts.
I am less fond of the Tubes-like "Swim," but that's a matter of taste.
I don't see much downside in the musical future of these guys--
I would only recommend that the singer restrain his occasional
penchant for too closely aping Morrisey's vocal style. But in all, this is a rock'n'roll
band with two really clever, unfancy guitar players--and they scarcely touch a conventional, minor-blues lick.
In yet other signs of these guys' flexibility, performance videos show them occasionally re-arranging these songs in concert, or shifting melodic emphases to different band members. That is one more reason I think these guys will keep doing this--
a fun kind of collaborative creativity seems to be second nature to them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Near-perfect, July 17, 2010
By 
G M (Australia) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Astro Coast (Audio CD)
When the great Rory Gallagher's album Top Priority was re-released in recent years, it contained a bonus track named "The Watcher", whose sound was described as "surf rock". It was the best song on the album, and I thought I recognised echoes of it in "Astro Coast", which has turned out to be hands-down the best album of 2010 thus far.

What remarkable talent seems to emerge from nowhere. Just when you think the music industry has time for nothing but bubblegum Britneys, along comes a band like Surfer Blood that have talent to burn.

This is not merely a question of genre. I know nothing at all about surf rock, but I do know that I like the cut of these guys already. Their debut album has a raw energy to it that I haven't heard in years. The first three songs have a grinding, under-processed strength to them that's hard to top, and the texture of their music truly sets them apart.

The most fascinating thing about "Astro Coast", however, is the manner in which the band have defied the usual rock convention of verse/chorus, verse/chorus, instrumental, verse/chorus. From memory, virtually every song on this album either manages to mix up this sequence (without at all losing coherence) or makes small adjustments thereto which keeps the listener on edge. It takes talent to do that, and this reaches its apogee in the six-minute "Anchorage", which halfway through segues into another melody entirely, after which the cadence plays out with pounding, driving brilliance.

One caveat. I really dislike it when rock bands use bad language or make casual mention of cocaine: Surfer Blood did one of each here (tracks 2 and 10): these were careless blots flung down upon a great canvas. Drug references and swear-words in rock music always sound phoney-tough to me. The band don't need to add these curlicues: they've already proved their street-cred with an outstanding album.

What will Surfer Blood do next? I imagine that once they have clocked up a second album, they may (like Vampire Weekend) be able to do an international tour. On the evidence of "Astro Coast", I don't even want to wait for another CD to hope that they will play in Sydney some day. Well done guys.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Skip the forgettable songs and you have a great album, March 23, 2010
By 
This review is from: Astro Coast (Audio CD)
Reverb on high and the let the sound echo through your house and head: here's another new American band which has looked into the long history west-coast surf, garage and beautiful Beach Boys melodies, even though they Surfer Blood hails from Florida. Where the Soft Pack (earlier reviewed) stray more towards the dark garage and the Drums to pop, Surfer Blood is more adventurous.

That they like a dare is evident from the first song which believe it or not is actually about surfing. The surf sound is continued in the single, and Explorer #1, `Swim' with its multitracked guitars and vocals to give it a spacey sound. The break in the middle is absolutely brilliant. The same recipe is used in `Twin Peaks' which is almost a copy of `Swim'. But if you copy something great, it's still very good if you do it well.

That they can go into other styles is evident in `Take it Easy' which could easily have been on the latest Vampire Weekend record. `Catholic Pagan' has the funny lyrics working for it and is the most Weezer-like song and the instrumental `Neighbor Riffs' would not be out of sync on a Pixies/Breeders collection of B-sides or even a Pavement throwaway album (and I mean that with the greatest respect).

There are a few songs that are forgettable and will make you press skip sooner rather than later like `Harmonix', `Slow Jabroni' or `Anchorage'.

Best song on the album might be the shoegazing `Fast Jabroni' which evokes Santogold's `Lights Out'. The extra instrumentation and supereasy but effective solo make it a song to be remembered.

It's an album to be remembered. If you delete the forgettable songs you will still end up with a great album. (4,5 stars)
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Astro Coast
Astro Coast by Surfer Blood (Audio CD - 2010)
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