1000 Palms is the third album from pop-grunge quartet Surfer Blood, and their first to be released on well-respected UK indie label, Fierce Panda – home to The Raveonettes, Placebo and The Walkman.
The band first rose to fame in 2009, with debut single ’Swim’ swiftly followed by debut album Astro Coast, gaining them a fair amount of hype around the globe, with a tight and busy touring schedule to match.
This latest offering kicks off with big and dreamy opener ’Grand Inquisitor’, with rolling drums and strong lead vocals immediately capturing the attention of the listener. The album continues with a blend of slick guitar riffs and cheerful melodies that easily draw you back into a mid-90’s teenage bedroom, with poster covered walls featuring the likes of Weezer and The Smoking Popes.
This is no bad thing. Where the typical modern band seems to slip in and out of either a fascination with 80’s synthesizers or an onslaught of full-on psychedelia, and as much as I adore both, clearly there is also a space to be filled with pop rock music of the more solid kind. Surfer Blood hits the mark with songs like ’Saber-Tooth & Bone’ and ’Dorian’ – think 70’s-era Beach Boys harmonies meets Weezer – leaving you as dreamy and carefree as young hearts should be.
Stand out tracks include the warm and catchy ’Covered Wagons’ and ’Other Desert Cities’, while the jolly bass-line on the short and playful ’Into the Catacombs’, and garage-synth track ’Feast-Famine’, will suddenly find you dancing – veins injected with Surfer Blood.
1000 Palms is a fine album, created in a time of adversity. Guitarist, Thomas Fekete, was struck down with a rare form of cancer that has now spread to his lungs and spine, but the band have so far succeeded in raising over $80,000, via GoFundMe.com, to help with medical bills. The site is still open for donations, with a new target of $120,000. We wish him well.
Surfer Blood’s third album, 1000 Palms, is set for release on May 12th.
Words: Anders Knudsen