Surf City: Jekyll Island (Fire/Southbound)

 |   |  1 min read

Surf City: Hollow Veins
Surf City: Jekyll Island (Fire/Southbound)

On previous albums the Auckland-bred but now much traveled Surf City delivered increasingly impressive opening salvoes and you heard an increasing confidence . . . and a band finding its own voice.

They have always worn their influences overtly -- Flying Nun, Jesus and Mary Chain, Ramones -- so they certainly weren't about reinventing anything. In part that was a measure of their success and charm, they just took elements and reconstituted them into their own style of buzzing pop.

This time out those influences remain -- add shoegaze in general too -- but they have now nailed down a much more hypnotic drone-groove for many of the songs and the production is more widescreen, the nunaces more subtle so result in repeat-plays  . . . but . . .

Where they once wore those influences as just part of the picture there are places here where, for example, the Ramones lawyers might call and say Joey and Johnny are calling from beyond (notably Hollow Veins) or J&MChain might ask for their chord progression book back.

When they step past that -- the opener Beat the Summer Heat, the trippy What They Need which admittedly does recall early David Kilgour a little, the bright pop of Leave Your Worries and Thumbs Up -- then you feel they are on more solid and original ground.

Across these 11 songs there are many pleasures to be had (and not just spot-the-band) but while they have pushed a little bit at their previous paramters there is still much more to be explored by them.

A sound and solid album, but with so much of this reworking the familiar the necessary surprises are too few to be as excited as we once were by Surf City.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Peter Jefferies: The Last Great Challenge in a Dull World (DeStijl//Flying In)

Peter Jefferies: The Last Great Challenge in a Dull World (DeStijl//Flying In)

To be honest, I had not heard -- or even heard of -- this debut solo album by Jefferies. Forgiveable perhaps given it first came out as an Xpressway cassette-only release in 1990. But its... > Read more

Dylan LeBlanc: Cast the Same Old Shadow (Rough Trade)

Dylan LeBlanc: Cast the Same Old Shadow (Rough Trade)

The 2010 debut album Pauper's Field by this 22-year old traveler from the dark side of alt.country was quite the quiet killer with its broody-noir quality leaven by flickers of Southern soul.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Samoa, USA: What's in a name

Samoa, USA: What's in a name

The mere name of a place can act like a magnet for the curious traveller -- and not just those evocative and familiar ones like Paris, Barcelona, Beirut or Beijing which have been burned into us... > Read more

More to life than cars and girls?

More to life than cars and girls?

A couple of weeks ago a strange sound came from our modest Mazda Demio so I confidently popped the bonnet. As I stood looking at the unfamiliar coils of metal and rubber it occurred to me it had... > Read more