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At this point anyone can have a CMJ-week party. You don’t even need a sponsor, in part because you don’t even need a proper venue. (Lofts, yards, and empty space above auto parts stores will suffice, aspiring Todd Ps.) So in a sense there’s something less impressive, if only because the party-gatekeepers are less exclusive, about playing 10+ shows during the industry fest’s vice grip on the city. Unless you have the live show and songs to back up the prefabricated buzz, of course; then you might find yourself the pivotal case study of a New York Times post-mortem.

That’s where Floridian Sleigh Bells-affiliates Surfer Blood find themselves, playing at least 12 times and generally impressing through most. Where their studio cuts like “Swim (To Reach The End) can flirt with the epically raucous end of things, onstage the the band tends to pull back from those grander postures for something more visceral and punchy with their surf-Afro-power-pop, bar-room dropkick hooks in place of big-room reverberated clamor. I caught them a few times through the week, intentionally and not, including their early Wednesday set at Pianos for the ForceField Party — as did DIY one-continuous-shot video specialist Ray Concepcioñ, who launches his one-continuous-shot-video-a-day-for-fourteen-days CMJ exposĂ© with this clip of “Take It Easy.” It’ll give you a good idea of where Surfer Blood is at, with a side of lots of hyper-zoom action.

A few MP3s:


The band’s Astro Coast LP is due in January via Kanine. More Surfer Blood at MySpace.

[Photo by Amrit Singh @ Pianos 10/21/09]

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Comments (10)
  1. Shaun  |   Posted on Oct 27th, 2009 0

    Cool zoomz d00d. Psha.

  2. Ben  |   Posted on Oct 27th, 2009 0

    I was standing right next to this guy. Thought he had Parkinson’s or something.

  3. mojotogo  |   Posted on Oct 27th, 2009 0

    great band! once they get in your head you can’t get em out….

  4. Bill  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    These guys sound all right, but after listening to their full-length I’ve gotta wonder whether they’ll start forwarding along any royalty checks to James Mercer just to say “Thanks.”

  5. This band will change your life

  6. eh. this is beyond average.

  7. Like Gnarly, Dude  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    i liked these songs better when they were released by the ’90s artists that Surfer Blood is ripping off.
    oh and let’s put an end to reverb addiction…that was so early 2000′s-to-be-like-early 1960′s and it’s more annoying now. The vocals on “Swim” are just silly.

    I’m not writing these kids off yet, will check out a thrid song…if it doesn’t contain references to water or the west coast.

  8. This year’s Muslims…. I mean Soft Pack… I mean… come on, people: we can do better than this.

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