Artist: Surfer Blood
Album Title: Pythons
Label: Sire Records
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Surfer Blood is a surf-indie-power pop outfit from Florida, who came into the scene with their fantastic debut album Astrocoast in 2010, which has spent the past couple years slowly growing into possibly one of my favorite LP’s.
Pythons, the bands first album on Warner Bros Records is much more straightforward power pop than Astrocoast’s reverb-heavy surf rock jams. Even with the no nonsense songwriting however, plenty of the instrumental elements that Surfer Blood made their name on are still heavily present. The last jam breakdown on “Squeezing Blood” and album highlight “Weird Shapes” shows off the bands rhythm section nicely, while songs like “Slow Six” and “Gravity” showcase the bands guitarist’s talents of melding two separate guitar tracks into one melody stretched across the whole neck. His voices on the guitar and ability to sing a mean tune, unfortunately, aren’t met with the same gusto when it comes his lyrics. Pitts doesn’t ever seem too sure of himself, no matter which direction he is singing from and he also falls prey to some pretty cliché lyrics.
The album itself is only about a half hour long and almost every song is about 3 minutes in length. Also, each song, for the most part, contains the basic song structure of verse/chorus/etc. The lack of diversity in this and song length causes the album to kind of breeze by, almost in one ear and out the other. Gil Norton’s polished production doesn’t help the album stick either. The effects are often hidden behind the main instruments and little dynamic is added when the band starts to rock out.
Despite it’s obvious flaws and complications outside the music, “Pythons” is a solid listen. It might not be the album that sticks with you the most this year, by any means, but it’s a nice listen that shows a bit more darkness and depth upon multiple listens.
Reviewed by Jay Dilick.