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August 6, 2007 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Surf City – S/T

Auckland four-piece Surf City (previously known as Kill Surf City) have dropped an absolute gem with this magnificent self-titled E.P. Honestly, I’ve just listened to it a dozen times in a row, and I’m still not satisfied.

This is a masterful fuzz-pop statement, gleaming with energy, joy and purpose. Right from the get-go, these four guys let you know they mean business, launching into first track ‘Headin’ Inside’ with a fast, incredibly incessant mash of bright guitar tones and insistent, slamming drum rhythms. Things only get better from here – each consecutive track heralds another thick, relentless burst of marvellous pop noise, wrapping you up tight in the sheer sweetness of the tunes. By the time it comes to the marvellous closing track ‘Free the City’, you’ll be reaching for the repeat button.

Surf City aren’t doing anything new here, but Christ, they’re doing it well. There’s a definite Clean fuzz element here (an observation confirmed by the sneaky presence of a David Kilgour thank-you in the liner notes), and more than a little of the ol’ Animal Collective drum pounding. Like many bands, they borrow plenty of the Beach Boys’ vocal aesthetic, trading off warbling woo-woo harmonies like it’s going out of fashion. Which it’s not.

The production is great, too. Reverb and echo are used liberally, but not to the point where it detracts from the speed and movement of the songs. The drums and bass are given plenty of room to surge along at pace, rushing underneath the warm layers of hazy guitars. There’s often a lot going on in these tracks, but despite the thick knitted layers of noise, everything still seems structured and defined.

It’s been a wee while since I’ve come across a band that excites me as much as these guys do. This is a searing debut E.P., and gives but a taste of what Surf City are capable of. The only possible criticism available is that, at just six tracks, it may not be enough to appease their smitten followers. More, please.


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