Surfer Blood

Snowdonia

Joyful Noise

Mar 09, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

After their 2010 debut Astro Coast became a much deserved breakout indie hit, Surfer Blood hit some unexpected and tragic stumbling blocks. Their 2013 major label debut and sophomore LP Pythons was widely viewed as a disappointment and 2015's 1000 Palms didn't do much to dissuade naysayers and retrieve their lost momentum. Then longtime bassist Kevin Williams left in 2015. But all of this was overshadowed when guitarist and co-founder Thomas Fekete was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer in 2014 and passed away in 2016.

The band return with Snowdonia, the first Surfer Blood album with the new lineup of mainstays John Paul Pitts and Tyler Schwarz joined by new members Lindsey Mills and Mike McCleary. As such, it feels brand new and familiar at the same time. Employing many of the same recording techniques that he used on Astro Coast, Pitts and company have come up with by far their best record since then. Sure, nothing here is as instantly memorable as "Swim" or "Take it Easy," but much of the material here could've passed as Astro Coast outtakes, albeit with a more mature spin. One notable exception is the almost 8-minute title track, a Krautrock-influenced tune showing Pitts' long-time interest in the genre coming to the surface. If this is the direction they take in the future or if it's more in the line of the almost instant classic opener "Matter of Time," one thing is definitely clear: Surfer Blood are back. (www.surferblood.com)  

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