Surfer Blood Tarot Classics

Surfer Blood Tarot Classics
While the echo-laden bombast of "Swim" may have endeared Florida quartet Surfer Blood to pop fans, one listen to debut album Astro Coast revealed that there was more to this band than just big hooks. The four tracks on Tarot Classics build off the group's subtler side. Much of the joyful sloppiness that made their debut so much fun is gone ― where Astro Coast left everything hanging out, the guitars on "Miranda" are reined in and singer John Paul Pitts's voice has developed a great deal of range, which he uses to great effect on "I'm Not Ready." Most importantly, the group's knack for hooky songwriting remains intact, with those hooks brought to the forefront. All four tracks are great additions to Surfer Blood's catalogue, but their flirtations with more staid production is worrisome. Hopefully, their sophomore album can recapture some of the vibrant energy that garnered fans in the first place. (Kanine)