‘Astro Coast’ has slowly been gathering hype online, especially since everyone’s favourite tip for next year The Drums tipped the band themselves. It seems in this ‘ones to watch’ culture soon music journalists will be forced to asked those who are bound for success to suggest more bands, who in turn will suggest a band, and so on. But Surfer Blood sound like exactly that, another band affiliated to this apparent surf-rock revival; Kelly Slater’s Haemoglobin with Shins-esque vocals. As a chap who has been lucky enough to sit through hours of ‘recommendations’ in recent weeks I welcome any Surf-Rock, Garage Revival, especially if it’s to sound like this.
Over the past month I’ve been internet-less. Modern day Tiny Tim I know, but it does mean I’ve given this album a fair old listen since I got it in November. As an album it’s incredibly easy to listen to uninterrupted, regardless of how much new music you have at your disposal. Tracks 1 and 2 ‘Floating Vibes’ and ‘Swim’ are perhaps the 2 most obvious singles, both catchy, punchy, retro-garage sounding tracks that draw similarities to The Shins and My Morning Jacket as much as they do Vampire Weekend. ‘Take It Easy’ is a personal favourite, a dreamy, afro-beat, hazy summer hit of a track complete with a long instrumental outro that I wanted to loop for the entirety of any journey I was trying to escape. Next ‘Harmonix’ and instrumental ‘Neighbor Riffs’ evoke similar influences and emotions, ‘Harmonix’ a drifting, slower track with prominent guitar work. Whilst ‘Twin Peaks’ is every bit as captivating as earlier tracks, with echoed Shinslike vocals and a chorus straight from Weezer’s blue album.
The test for an album like this has to be that I can listen to it in the rain and snow of the West Country, despite the fact it’s essentially a soundtrack to summer, more at home on Palm Beach than Weston Super Mare. It’s a brilliant album and one I will be buying officially when it comes out late January. Those of you who are lucky enough to live in London the band are treating you to 4 dates in early February. One, aptly, at Kingston’s ‘New Slang’ with Pete and the Pirates, that certainly is a gig worth attending. Alas, I will be back at University, attempting to record a Surf-Rock, lo-fi masterpiece of my own.