Surfer Blood - Weird Shapes [single] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Surfer Blood

Weird Shapes [single] (2013)

Warner Bros.

Generally, "buzz bands" in the way people in their late 20s and early 30s remember them don't sign to major labels anymore. Far, far too many of them flamed out–along with most of the rest of the music industry–for either side to take the risk, and so many of them flourish on indie labels now that it doesn't even necessarily make sense for the band to take the plunge. So it was curious news when West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Surfer Blood joined Warner Bros. in late 2010 after debuting with the excellent Astro Coast that same year via Kanine Records (A follow-up EP, Tarot Classics, arrived in 2011 via the same label, presumably as the second record in a two-record deal). Here was a band that played a retrofied combination of reverb-soaked surf rock and post-punk with an understated pop sensibility, and did so on their own terms. Not the kind of stuff that normally joins the rabbit these days.

So here we are, over two years after the announcement, with the first new song from Surfer Blood as a major label band. "Weird Shapes" will appear on their upcoming full-length Pythons, tentatively slated for a summer release, brother. Like "Miranda," the excellent single from Tarot Classics, Surfer Blood have placed their poppy tinges at the forefront without sacrificing anything that made them such a uniquely fun band these past couple of years. The guitars dance together nicely through the song's intro leading into harmonics working in concert with the distorted vocals of John Paul Pitts in the verses. Some uncharacteristically cataclysmic screams hover around the chorus and add a dash of unpredictability in what's otherwise a very structurally conventional, but enjoyable song.

"Weird Shapes" is a promising re-debut for Surfer Blood and who knows, maybe they'll involuntarily usher in another golden age of major label-backed alternative rock like we had in the ‘80s and ‘90s.