You feel sorry for Surfer Blood, you really do. It's CMJ Tuesday, there's some invisible wheel turning, and when you walk into the basement of Cake Shop at 4:30pm on a sunny afternoon you all of a sudden know where the arrow stopped. Human sacrifice is still this festival's weirdest ritual: the singling out of one act just naive enough to accept invitations to 11 or 12 different showcases, unmindful of the wear and tear and constant scrutiny. By Saturday, they'll be an entirely different band, if they don't break up before then.
|You'll never be this young again. Surfer Blood photo by Rebecca Smeyne.|
But at Cake Shop, for the first one, they merely seem a bit dazed. The billion-band afternoon showcase delirious-soundman sound is not a great fit for these guys, who've surely been chosen in part by whatever cruel god runs this thing for how aptly they sum up any number of zeitgeists: Very Best/Fool's Gold post-world rhythms, Free Energy pelvis-thrust Thin Lizzy revivalism, no-fi reverb and feedback, and just a hint of some early Weezer pop-metal formalism. Frontman John Paul Pitts rocks a yellow sweater and mumbles something about being "slaves to rave"; he also ad-libs the word "spiritual" into a song-title that already had the words "floating" and "vibes" in it--again, these guys are playing like 11 more times. More »