In concert: Surfer Blood
By Patrick Foster
Yet more evidence that the Internet has made the concept of bands paying their dues obsolete: Surfer Blood. The West Palm Beach, Florida (I know, right?) band has gone from barely-existing bedroom recording project to sizzling indie buzz band in less than a year. But the band's show at a stuffy, sold-out DC9 last night was only a few leagues above high school talent show level and clearly revealed that what they really need is to spend some time paying their dues.
(Too much too soon, after the jump.)
The four fresh-faced Floridians (and one incongruous dude who looked like he time-traveled from Blue Oyster Cult circa '72) are touring behind "Astro Coast," their charming and occasionally hypnotic debut record.
Made almost single-handedly at home by singer/guitarist JP Pitts, the 10 songs mix the whooshy haze of My Bloody Valentine with the jitters of early Modest Mouse finished with a dose of vintage ramshackle indie (Polvo, Pavement).
On stage, Pitts and company couldn't rely on an arsenal of home-studio effects and were forced to reproduce the hooky propulsion of songs like "Swim" via sheer instrumental combustion. And while the 45-minute set was by no means embarrassing, there was a stiff, labored quality to the performances of "Twin Peaks," "Catholic Pagans," "Anchorage" and well, pretty much everything.
Sticking exclusively to tracks from "Astro Coast," the quintet added a few extended noisy codas, but those semi-improvisational bursts were tangential to the central issue: Surfer Blood is a young, inexperienced band and they played like it. Clearly, they were having a blast, but competently reproducing music just isn't that exciting. And after all, making both a very good debut album and having a galvanizing live show within your first year seems a bit outrageous.
Even in the age of the Internet.
February 25, 2010; 12:49 PM ET
Categories: In concert | Tags: Surfer Blood
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