The first time I listened to Surfer Blood, the alternative pop four-piece from West Palm Beach, I was immediately intrigued. This was before the debut of their breakout first record Astro Coast. Surfer Blood were the openers for a Japandroids show that I was attending and I went in not knowing anything about the band. Turns out that the band plays immediately catchy tunes. Definitely owing a debt to Weezer, Surfer Blood creates ear-worming beach-worthy tunes. I liked what I heard. and apparently so did the rest of the listening public as Surfer Blood found success, leading the band to sign a major label deal with Warner.
However before the release of their highly-anticipated sophomore record, an unfortunate thing happened. John Paul Pitts, the lead singer was arrested for domestic battery with his then live-in-girlfriend. Though the charges were eventually dropped, this incident has definitely soured a lot of people’s opinion about the band, me included. This incident made me not actively seek out or even listen to new Surfer Blood music, even as the band got ready to release Pythons, their second record. I finally got over this disenchantment with the band enough to finally give Pythons an objective listen, not letting the arrest cloud my judgement.
And you know what? Pythons maintain that same wonderful, fun rhythm that Astro Coast has. Pitts knows how to write a melody, and Pythons is once again full of them catchy tunes. It feels more streamlined and less aggressive than Astro Coast which gives it more of a laid-back vibe. Give this an objective listen and you’ll remember why you liked Surfer Blood in the first place.
Dance your way to the aptly-titled first single Demon Dance embedded below.
Surfer Blood – Pythons comes out 6/11 via Warner (order here)