The Best Albums of 2010

8.  Surfer Blood: Astro Coast [Kanine]

Astro Coast is the debut album from West Palm Beach based quintet Surfer Blood.  In keeping with the spirit of their Florida upbringing, Astro Coast is at it’s core surf-style rock.  But to leave it at that would be an over-simplification.  These songs are heavy and plodding mostly with catchy melodies.  And just to round things out, there are also songs on here like “Take it Easy.”  A catchy little romp with a poly-rhythmic beat that makes it sound like something that might fit better on a Vampire Weekend album.  Lead singer John Paul Pitts’ boyish vocals — drenched in reverb — serve as a nice counterpunch to the heaviness of the guitars.  As a whole, the heavy feel reminds me of bands like Dinosaur Jr. and My Bloody Valentine.  If you’re a experiencing a retro new-wave hangover, give this one a listen, it’s a pleasant departure from much of the music that dominates today’s airwaves.

Prime Cuts: Floating Vibes, Swim, Take it Easy, Anchorage

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The Year in Music So Far

Happy New Year everyone!  One of my New Year’s resolutions was to to try to listen to more music.  As I check out new releases from week to week, I’ll be chronicling which albums I think deserve a listen.  On that note, here are some of my favorites from 2010 so far.  You’ll notice that I’ve instituted a grading scale.  Albums will be graded on a scale of 1 -10, from worst to best.  Although I’ll rarely review a bad album, noteworthy albums may get some exposure as I see fit.  As always, thanks for reading!

Surfer Blood: 7.7

Astro Coast
Label:
Kanine
Release Date:
January 19, 2010
Reminds Me of:
Dinosaur Jr., The Shins, Vampire Weekend

Astro Coast is the debut album from West Palm Beach based quintet Surfer Blood.  In keeping with the spirit of their Florida upbringing, Astro Coast is a well-crafted rock album that offers an odd mix of surf-style rock, pop melodies and a little of the poly-rhythmic beats that we’re accustomed to hearing from Vampire Weekend.  The result is pretty interesting.  Singer John Paul Pitts’ voice is earnest if not pleasant against some of the heaviness of the guitars and the song structure reflects some degree of maturity.  Much like the Shins and My Morning Jacket, there’s a lot of reverb on here (something I love) that gives the album a feel that is much more like any hardcore “alternative” album you’ve probably heard in a while.  If you’re a experiencing a retro new-wave hangover, give this one a listen, it is a pleasant departure from much of the music that dominates today’s musical landscape.

Select Cuts: Floating Vibes, Swim, Take it Easy, Anchorage

Surfer Blood

Astro Coast

Label: Kanine

Release Date: January 19, 2010

Reminds Me of: Dinosaur Jr., The Shins, Vampire Weekend