Surfer Blood Tarot Classics
Indie rock is difficult to define these days, but for anyone who spent the ’90s transfixed by college radio and wasted hours fighting over who was selling out, there’s still a particular catchy, lo-to-mid-fi rock sound attached to the term. Without sounding like a throwback, Surfer Blood might be the best band currently in business that’s playing by the same musical rules that made indie rock such a force back in the day. Exhibit A is the Tarot Classics EP, the quartet’s last hurrah for the indie label Kanine before it jumps to Warner Bros. As with Surfer Blood’s 2010 debut, Astro Coast, echoes of the Pixies and Weezer can be heard on Tarot Classics, but the band’s secret weapon continues to be the voice of JP Pitts. Surfer Blood’s frontman sounds like a Florida version of Pale Saints’ Ian Masters, and he gives everything he touches an engaging sweetness, whether he’s getting his heart broken in “Miranda” or telling a former friend that “sooner or later they will find out what you’re made of” during the mid-tempo opener “I’m Not Ready.” Included among four originals on Classics are two remixes (plus several more on a bonus download), with the Built To Spill-esque “Voyager Reprise” getting a dance-club bump and the subdued, acoustic-driven “Drinking Problem” updated with a bass-heavy groove.