Surfer Blood 

Tarot Classics

At first glance, it's a little odd that Surfer Blood is currently touring the country as openers for The Pixies. In one corner: a South Florida four-tet just on the searing edge of stardom, having risen to blog fame sometime last year (largely on the strength of its ubiquitous, anthemic single, "Swim") and then real fame shortly thereafter (now that it's signed with Warner Bros.). And in the other: a Boston-based cult favorite that hasn't released a new album since 1991 and was formed the year Surfer Blood's lead singer, John Paul Pitts, was born. But the members of Surfer Blood have always professed to be huge fans of The Pixies — earlier this summer, they covered "Gigantic" for the Onion A.V. Club's "Undercover" series — and it's clear from their music. Like The Pixies, Surfer Blood is guitar-driven and lo-fi-tinged, with an infectious surf-rock soul. But it's also not afraid to revel in sunny melodies, simple lyrics, and sure-to-be-crowd-pleasing power-pop riffs. Tarot Classics — the four-song follow-up to last year's Astro Coast and the band's last release on an indie label — is a little colder and a little sadder than its predecessor, but make no mistake: Even when these guys are sad, they manage to make happy music. In the space of an EP, Pitts and company manage to pack in a wide swath of references, largely culled from late-Eighties and early-Nineties college-rock golden days: Pavement and Blur on the bouncy, absurdly catchy "Miranda"; The Smiths-meets-Neon Indian on the chilly "Drinking Problem"; and The Strokes, The Cure, and, especially, early Weezer throughout. It should be more than enough to keep people interested until the next full-length, even if the blog buzz begins to wear off. And who knows: maybe the next crop of 25-year-olds will be covering them in two decades. (Kanine)

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