Unlike other neo-surf-rock bands, Surfer Blood isn’t a California product. The quartet hails from West Palm Beach, Florida, which accounts for Surfer Blood’s laid-back approach. The band delivered 13 songs with a sunburned glaze reserved for veteran road-riders. Chumming the waters with dueling-guitars instrumental “Neighbour Riffs,” Surfer Blood transitioned into the ’60s-garage chords of ìTwin Peaks,î the lyrics detailing a college-crush narrative about watching David Lynch flicks with a girl. Hard-driving, Pixies-ish “Miranda” marked the only up-tempo moment of the evening, and the song confirmed why I and the 80 other fans gathered that evening dig the group.
Blood harkens back to a more innocent, clear-cut time in alt music. Workmanlike rock–except for frontman John Paul Pitts’ microphone cord-snaring jaunt through the crowd for the Vampire Weekend-esque ditty “Take It Easy”–isn’t admired much now. But when the Blood bit into power-pop single “Demon Dance” (from released-this-summer album Pythons) and tore into triumphant “Swim,” with its pledge “to reach the end,” it became evident that this band has dark-horse potential. Once again, Beauty Bar hosted a terrific band that just might sneak its way into the winner’s circle. ★★★☆☆