While their classmates were racking up debt at the college bookstore, the guys in Surfer Blood put their scholarship money to use buying musical equipment. The four were University of Florida freshmen when they wrote and recorded Astro Coast in their dorm room. The results are as fresh and vibrant as their band name, a casual reference to an activity none of them did. Killer guitar riffs and reverb-soaked surf-rock echo noisily through an album that draws comparisons to early Weezer and the Pixies. The best track is “Harmonix,” where a simple, repeated guitar figure forms the chill core of the song, as the bass scratches funkily alongside. Touches of Vampire Weekend wiggle into the lopsided cowbell-embellished “Take It Easy,” and on “Neighbor Riffs,” Florida sun melts a head-bopping instrumental into something sweet and pure. Astro Coast is bombastic without being overwhelming; the sweeping drums and hollow vocals balance out the distortion. Surfer Blood find the fine line between big, overproduced anthemic rock and an unfinished sound. —Danielle Sills
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.