Surfer Blood

Astro Coast

The young, fresh fellows in Surfer Blood aren’t fooling anybody. The West Palm Beach five-piece’s influences are clear as day: ’80s alternative, Afro-Caribbean music and boatloads of youthful disaffection. On the band’s debut, Astro Coast, it’s all in how they’re used. Surfer Blood avoids ham-fistedly aping their influences, instead using lighter, well-placed brush-strokes throughout its sonic canvas. Bass and drums are almost an afterthought to the guitars and John Paul Pitts’ vocals, which still manage to soar despite the weight of all the reverb, most notably on the album’s single “Swim.” Opener “Floating Vibes” and “Fast Jabroni” are probably the most straight-forward songs in the batch, while the band dips its toes into Afro-Caribbean rhythms on “Take It Easy” and “Twin Peaks.” “Slow Jabroni” comes late in the record, a six-minute song that begins unassumingly with distorted acoustic strums before descending into a warm and fuzzy free fall. For a young band just coming out of the gates, Surfer Blood manages to deftly balance pop smarts, elegance and meat-and-potatoes guitars as if they’ve been at it for years.