Surf City is a young quartet from New Zealand. They used to be called “Kill Surf City,” but there’s an unfortunate band in England with the tag, so now the Jesus & Mary Chain reference isn’t as obvious at first sight, though sonically, it remains. More than that, though, you’ll hear the various jangling/darkish lo-fi pop bands of their homeland — the Clean, Straightjacket Fits, the Terminals, the Chills. When we talk about Crystal Stilts, we say they have a kind of Flying Nun vibe — Surf City taps into the more uptempo, but still melancholic (or at least dusky) take on that label’s signature sounds. But the band makes good on their citations of the Zombies, Sonic Youth, and Animal Collective, among others, as influences, so don’t expect straight-up aping — for instance, you should hear the Wilderness (in extreme pop mode) in the guitar tone of “Mt. Kill” and Avey Tare and friends in the group chants. All that said, the guys have a very promising, impressively assured 6-song EP forthcoming on Morr. Take a listen to the perfect 2-minute pop storm of the opener “Headin’ Inside” and the more Animal Collected “Dickshakers Union.”

Here’s the “Dickshakers” video, where you can see the guys (and a guy in a bear suit) in action.

Plus, another EP track, “Records Of A Flagpole Skater,” where you might detect a J&MC vibe in the detached lead vocals, etc.

Surf City were recently on tour with much-hyped countrywoman Ladyhawke, but right now there are no dates to be had. You can keep up to date/hear more at their MySpace.

Surf City EP is out 11/25 via Morr.

Comments (18)
  1. Hey hey, this stuff sounds really cool. I’ma buy that ep

  2. jay  |   Posted on Nov 11th, 2008 0

    these guys are pretty great. when is the ep to be released in the US? according to the morr music site it came out in july, but i can’t find anywhere to buy it. it’s out on arch hill in new zealand, and you can get it now from here:

    for the mp3s, $11NZD probably works out to about $6 and change USD. so worth it. if you want the CD and the US release is more than a week and a half away (that’s how long it takes for stuff to ship from NZ), or if you just want the NZ version of the EP, i suggest defraying the cost of shipping it across the pacific with a few discs from the chills, the verlaines, or tall dwarfs.

  3. gimme  |   Posted on Nov 11th, 2008 0

    concerning newer bands from down under check out

    these guys should be getting more exposure, i don’t see them mentioned on any blogs at all, a shame, great cd art too

  4. brian  |   Posted on Nov 11th, 2008 0

    nice!! stereogum pays off!

  5. These guys are great, I’m a fan. They put on a good show too, last couple I’ve seen have sounded really good.

  6. mark  |   Posted on Nov 11th, 2008 0

    These guys are really amazing, they’ve been at it for aaages down here in New Zealand :)

  7. This stuff sounds really good. It’s almost like the Strokes, but with a little Tokyo Police Club thrown in. I don’t know, but these guys SHOULD be big.

  8. Meh  |   Posted on Nov 11th, 2008 0

    More like Suck City.

  9. Nice work Stereogum. There’s a heap of good music being made down here in NZ. My friend made that video for Records Of A Flagpole Skater, it’s sweeet. He recently made another cool video for a band called Brand New Math. You’ll find it on youtube…the songs called ‘Idiot Savant’

  10. chris steinbach  |   Posted on Nov 12th, 2008 0

    These guys are on iTunes, if you must have it now, for $5.94

  11. sid  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2008 0

    opppp yyyyyyeeesss mate i loveboys and their ways brand new math are gays

  12. Joseph  |   Posted on Nov 20th, 2008 0

    That November Rain moment in Records of a Flagpole Skater video is outstanding

  13. no  |   Posted on Nov 21st, 2008 0

    i love them, but i hate them, but i just don’t know

  14. Katie  |   Posted on Nov 21st, 2008 0

    These guys are outstanding. I’ve been obsessed with this EP since I got it. Thanks stereogum!

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