SXSW Music 2010
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., March 26, 2010
Surfer BloodMohawk Patio, Saturday, March 20
"We live in a city where old people come to die," bespoke Surfer Blood's bassist, referring to the septuagenarian ghetto of West Palm Beach, Fla. The first thing about Surfer Blood: They are young. Like first-year-of-college young, meaning a debut like January's Astro Coast is all the more impressive, the angst and boredom born of a city like West Palm Beach channeled through pop and melody. Above all, Surfer Blood's songs are catchy, structured around the chorus and the riff. Live, the breezy pop of Astro Coast was turned way up, guitars in full bloom. The quartet played with a second percussionist, giving "Take It Easy" and "Swim (to Reach the End)" rhythmic padding, but SB's sound is all in the guitars, those dueling axes underscoring earnest lyrics. These guys don't even sound jaded yet. Now that they've been plucked from a Southern graveyard and placed in Next Big Thingville, let's see if they keep their chins up.