Surfer Blood Pythons

Surfer BloodPythons
For many, it'll be impossible to approach Surfer Blood's sophomore release completely unconscious of the allegations raised against singer John Paul Pitts. In March of 2012, Pitts was arrested on charges of domestic battery after an argument broke out between him and his then-live-in girlfriend. Though eventually cleared, a public backlash was unavoidable. Pitts and Surfer Blood have experienced a falling out in the wake of the accusations, with certain bands even refusing to tour with them. The incident and its aftermath provide a somewhat grim and unfortunate, albeit inevitable, backdrop to Pythons, an album fully written before the allegations. Pythons sounds exactly like what listeners expect from Surfer Blood: glossy, guitar-driven power-pop and instantly catchy, hook-based songs. Opener "Demon Dance" immediately reintroduces listeners to Surfer Blood's characteristically breezy pop. Pitts has admitted, however, that the album's polished sound might make it difficult for some to pick up on the raw emotions. Indeed, a closer listen reveals some eerily prophetic and expressive lyrics. Pitts seems to tempt fate with the somewhat unsettling lyrics, "damning allegations have come to light," on the otherwise cheery "Squeezing Blood." "I Was Wrong" adds further to the retrospective nature of Pythons: "all along, I was wrong, moving on, with or without." Fittingly, Surfer Blood certainly do sound like a group more interested in simply moving forward than dwelling on a difficult past. The result is a fine summer pop record that encourages listeners to approach as they will. (Warner)