Astro Coast (Kanine)
With a wave-checkered shark on the cover of their debut album and a name that brings to mind California beach parties, it’s pretty obvious that Surfer Blood is inspired by the reverb-laden surf rock of the ’60s. And with track titles including “Swim” and “Take It Easy,” the group isn’t discreet about its preference for lo-fi beach pop. Astro Coast, the debut album for the young group from West Palm Beach, was recorded in their hometown, and judging by the dreamy guitar riffs and melodic vocals from singer John Paul Pitts, it’s strongly influenced by their sunny Florida surroundings.
It’s hard to make it past the first track on Astro Coast, “Floating Vibes,” without repeating it at least once. It’s wonderfully catchy from the get-go, with hazy-but-charging guitars and lines like, “If you’re moving out to the West then you better learn how to surf.” “Swim,” which was released as a single last year to heavy critical praise, highlights the group’s mastery of the three-minute pop song. The best track on the album, “Harmonix,” gets its name from the highlighted guitar harmonics and, as with a number of songs on the album, begs for a second or third listen. January might seem like an odd month to release a summer-inspired record, but Astro Coast offers a much-needed pop escape; Surfer Blood has the momentum to gain an audience that will stick around long past the summer months.