Surfer Blood, Astro Coast
Just washed ashore: fresh new power pop classics.
May our year of surfing and beaches and windswept abandon burn up and fade away. In its place, more bands like Surfer Blood, a troupe with little time for burbling chillwave, instead favoring an old time-y sound — that’s right, straightforward guitar-driven rock ‘n’ roll songs! The name and subject matter might fool you; the West Palm Beach crew have rights to beachdom and their songs can drift into talk of deadbeat summers. But the sound on their confident, chipper debut hews closer to roiling ’70s arena rock (think Boston, with way less polish), accessible shoegaze (Ride are a clear influence) and mid-’90s alt-pop (Weezer, basically). Occasionally they get scrambled and lost in the sound of those guitars (the noodly, aimless “Neighbor Riffs” is no more than a song-buffer.) But when they’re running hot, as on the soaring, enormous “Swim,” they seem a band capable of amazing things. Opener “Floating Vibes” flaunts similarly big ambitions: controlled solos, colliding guitar attack, dueling choruses. It’s early yet, but Surfer Blood, bad intentions or not, are resurrecting a quaint, but vital sound.