Daytrotter smiles on South Florida yet again with Surfer Blood's second visit
to the Rock Island, Illinois studio in less than a year -- they were there last fall. These, along with sessions with Millionyoung and the Dewars, prove the snowbird spot is a welcome outpost for touring acts from our region.
The session itself -- recorded by Matt Oliver in Austin at his Big Orange studio -- is an apt portrait of where the West Palm Beach alt-rock troupe is at the end of 2011 -- promoting the heck out of of the Tarot Classics EP and trying out some new songs that could end up on their next full-length.
The recording quality here is top-notch, and it speaks great volumes to Surfer Blood's carefully honed recording techniques and dedication to live performance. You get "Miranda" (called "The Fast Song") and "I'm Not Ready" from the EP, an Astro Coast throwback in "Fast Jabroni," and a pair of new songs.
There's an unlisted song at the end of "Fast Jabroni," and there's "Island," which has been in and out of the Surfer Blood live set for much of the year. The latter song appears to be the inspiration for Sean Moeller's essay accompanying the sessions, and though it's a well-meaning try to connect the "no man is an island" concept to the band's lyrical content that deals with mistrust and some bitterness. Still, things get a little muddled by midway through.
On J.P. Pitts' songwriting: "His descriptions of these ill-gotten episodes - where at least one has
been severely taken advantage of - sound like editorials from the New
York Times if they had a tendency [sic] calling someone a fucking wanker." We're not sure what that means. It did give us an indelible image of NYT editorial columnists David Brooks and Frank Bruni fist-bumping while enjoying "Floating Vibes," so we're just going to let this episode pass and get back to the music.
Listen and Download: Surfer Bood @ Daytrotter