[sic] Magazine

Surfer Blood – Astro Coast

You’ve gotta pitch this sort of album just right nowadays. Indie-rock is no longer anywhere near cool, and Florida state-mates Black Kids kinda bombed after their download-only Wizard Of Ahhhs EP gave them a solid indie-pop start. Thus, Astro Coast, which is pitched half way between The Shins likeable, sunny, literate indie and the at-times dumb college-rock of Weezer , has an immediate task on its hands, especially considering Rivers Cuomo’s recently disappointing output.

New Jersey’s Real Estate work with similarly indie material, but while their hazy self-titled pitch falls short into an aimlessly-strumming no man’s land (no matter what hipsters may tell you), Surfer Blood may yet hit their target. They’ve added some spice with fashionable, lo-fi and echoing vox treatment, tick cultish boxes by crowbarring cool into the mix with the David Lynch-checking “Twin Peaks” track, and have a genuinely great feel-good tune in “Swim” (often called “Swim To Reach The End”). “Slow Jabroni” even adds a touch of variety, spinning out into light psych during its six minutes. It’s a touch disappointing though that the organ-muddled track “You’re A Friend”, which has been doing the blog rounds recently is not included.

Their catchy choruses and laid back harmonies rarely challenge, their hooks appeal but fail to rouse. Yet, this is the point. This is exactly what you’d expect from the sunshine state, anymore effort would cause an undignified sweat. And whichever way you look at the surprisingly wistful Astro Coast, it is infinitely more listenable than the latest Weezer offering Raditude.