It's been a turbulent few years for Florida's Surfer Blood.
In 2012, lead singer John Paul Pitts was arrested following allegations of domestic battery (charges were later dropped), and just a few weeks ago it was announced that guitarist Thomas Fekete has been diagnosed with cancer. So, with new record '1000 Palms', Surfer Blood could really do with a win.
Something immediately noticeable is that they've definitely matured in parts on their third record, departing from the slightly Weezer-esque anthems that preceded it. 'Point Of No Return' is a perfect example of this growth, with its piano chords and 'Sympathy For The Devil' style drum intro, but they still do what they do best with 'Sabre-Tooth And Bone', a beach love ode that practically reeks of barbecue and cans of warm cider.
This development can probably be pinned down to their departure from major label Warner Brothers, moving on to revitalised independent Fierce Panda. Here they were allowed more freedom, recording most of the record in an attic; a return to the DIY ethos that was so present in breakthrough banger 'Swim'.
Don't worry, though – they haven't fully grown up. Surfer Blood continue to perfect their solemn beach vibes with jangly guitars and good 'ol pop hook choruses with the likes of second track 'Island', which sees Pitts showcase his angelic vocals in the verse over a soothing riff, before being thrown full force into a barrage of crashing cymbals and hammering power chords.
The bottom line: if you're looking for an intelligent summer record then hit download immediately.
Words: Jamie Carson
– – –
– – –