Once upon a time, Surfer Blood were the breakout stars of CMJ 2009 (QRO recap) – back when there was a CMJ. They even put south Florida on the indie map. Debut Astro Coast (QRO review) hit a sweet spot, and they signed to Warner Brothers. But major label follow-up Pythons (QRO review) didn’t work as well, and the ‘south Florida scene’ never developed. Well, Surfer Blood are still around, with the cheery Snowdonia, which still doesn’t justify them still being around.
A sunny garage-sway runs throughout Snowdonia, an enjoyable sound that was an alt-hit ten years ago. By now, songs like opener “Matter of Time” and even closer “Carrier Pigeon” are nice enough, but are barely enough to keep themselves going. Surfer Blood also don’t pick up the trick from other simple garage bands and limit their song’s lengths, so that they don’t wear out their welcome – witness the near-eight minute title track, or smacking together a weaker part with a different, stronger part on the preceding “Six Flags in F or G”.
Surfer Blood were never truly revelatory, and there is something to be said for an indie band continuing on after being picked up, then put down, by a major label. But there’s not a whole lot there, there.