With Surfer Blood's 2010 debut, Astro Coast, a beam of light shone from the otherwise emotionally empty town of West Palm Beach. With the lazy, yet somehow upbeat vocals of lead singer John Paul Pitts, tracks like "Swim," "Harmonix," and "Anchorage" strike a perfect balance between the laidback atmosphere that goes with sipping daiquiris on a cruise ship (which is what you could have done had you caught their 2010 performance on Bruise Cruise) or the electricity of dancing rhythmically at one of their shows.
With influences like The Pixies (who Surfer Blood recently toured with) and The Smiths, it's easy to understand why the band is one of the best to emerge from the annals of indie rock in quite some time. The originations of the band began with John Paul Pitts and drummer Tyler Schwarz, who met each other at Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Although Pitts admits that, "Tyler and I kind of didn't like each other," their rapport altered once they started playing music. It was not until Ultra Music Festival in 2009 that all of the elements for forming Surfer Blood fell into place, as that is where they met guitarist Thomas Fekete.
From there, Jabroni Sandwich was created--and quickly replaced with the name Surfer Blood, which Pitts says stemmed from Schwarz being "just wasted and yelling the name over and over." Proof that one's best thinking is done while drunk. Once fellow members Kevin Williams and Marcos Marchesani (who generally only tours with the band) entered the equation, Surfer Blood catapulted to the forefront with a little help from New York City's CMJ Music Festival.
The latest offering from Surfer Blood, Tarot Classics, is a small collection of songs that will hopefully serve as a transition to their next full length album. Though Behind the Hype has fingers crossed for more of the same vibe featured on Astro Coast, Tarot Classics indicates a subtle shift in sound and content. The single "Miranda" is, in many ways, reminiscent of "Harmonix" in terms of lamenting a love gone wrong. In a languid rehashing of life with some ho named Miranda, Pitts intones, "We just let each other down to let each other back in." It's a statement that accurately summarizes so many relationships.
Other tracks on the EP include "I'm Not Ready," "Drinking Problem," and "Voyager Reprise," as well as remixes of all four of the aforementioned songs. Anyway, we here at Behind the Hype thought it necessary to bend down on one knee and propose a lifelong devotion to the dudes from Surfer Blood--or at least as long as it takes for them to disappoint us with such high expectations.