Local Wire

Surfer Blood @ The Clubhouse

In case you missed it, Palm Beach buzz band Surfer Blood has signed to Warner Bros. It's a puzzling move three-quarters of the way through the year 2010, when not one but two independent releases have taken the number-one spot on the Billboard charts. What does being on a major label get you these days that a well-connected indie can't offer? Perhaps the band's '90s sound extends to their label politics; it's easy to get caught up, recalling a time when big labels were snatching up bands like Surfer Blood by the handful, eager to make superstars out of scrappy indie-leaning acts. It didn't pan out for most bands then, and it's sort of doubtful it will work for Surfer Blood, either. But how does that matter when it comes to records as good as Surfer Blood's Astro Coast? The band's debut is replete with big rock hooks, saturated distortion and the kind of skewed pop sensibility that Vampire Weekend and any other square art-school preppy act angling for a Filter cover would pine for. Once the promotional blitz passes, Surfer Blood's records will sound just as awesome when they are found in the cut out bins alongside The Posies, Superdrag, and The Lemonheads.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.