Review: Surfer Blood, ‘Tarot Classics’ EP

With their debut album Astro Coast early last year, Surfer Blood broke into indie rock consciousness and made waves with a prolific world tour during the past year alongside groups like the Drums and Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

The West Palm Beach outfit’s sound, an endearing mix of lo-fi surf-rock and bright vocals, is instantly likeable, recalling ’70s power pop filtered through the devil-may-care approach of ’90s alternative rock.

Surfer Blood, “Miranda”

A short and sweet four-track release, Surfer Blood’s new EP Tarot Classics serves best as an appetizer for their recently announced second LP. The two opening songs are the most evocative of Astro Coast. Though offering a slightly cleaned up sonic register, “I’m Not Ready” and “Miranda” resuscitate the chorus-heavy lyrical structure, propulsive guitar riffing and Smiths-styled charisma that gave the band its initial following.

Beside the novel addition of synthesizer, “Voyager’s Reprise” is the most disposable of the tracks. More downbeat than typical Surfer Blood fare, it segues well to introduce the final and best song on the recording, “Drinking Problem.” Tinged with melancholy, it elucidates Surfer Blood’s shift into a more romantic lyrical and instrumental sphere. The pace is pondering and vocals are no longer subordinated to guitar, a stylistic advance that is more subtly apparent on the rest of the EP.

Taken in context, Tarot Classics succeeds in whetting appetites for their upcoming release. It’s not a groundbreaking follow-up to Astro Coast, but it does showcase their obvious talents for pacing and construction.

You can listen to the free stream of the EP over at Pretty Much Amazing.