Band To Watch: Surf City

Band To Watch: Surf City

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.”

Surf City – “Headin’ Inside” (MP3)
Surf City – “Dickshakers Union” (MP3)

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.

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