Surfer Blood is certainly not a new name on anyone's lips, and I don't hide that I love the band (even with the lurking possibility that they may become my new PP who became my VW). Astro Coast was one of my favorite albums of 2009, but I had managed to overlook a certain gem on it. I had a habit of listening through to "Twin Peaks," and but then I would jump forward to "Catholic Pagans." This was a huge mistake.
After listening to "Anchorage" on repeat for about a month, I am convinced that it is the standout track. It may not have the immediate accessibility of songs like "Swim," but I personally find that patient listening tends to be more rewarding. Clocking in at over six minutes, "Anchorage" is rather epic. It's as if Surfer Blood took all these musical elements that I like and blended them into one track. The dissonant chords grabbed me from the start, but it's really the organic evolution of the song that's stunning. Even the lyrics were left imprinted in my memory, and recalling lyrics is definitely not my forte. Be sure to listen all the way through, or you'll miss the crazy multi-part vocal harmony at 4:58 and the killer guitar solo that closes out the song. It's so good that my heart hurts a little. "Anchorage" definitely hints that there's more to Surfer Blood than just a handful of catchy songs that make you want to jump around. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
If I hadn't listened to a live performance of "Anchorage" on New Year's Eve, I may have continued to skip over it. The video for "Swim" captures a bit of that NYE's show at Cameo Gallery. I can actually spot myself in the video!
Be sure to pick up Astro Coast! Their MySpace says that the first vinyl pressing is already sold out. Crap, I need to get my copy ASAP. You can buy directly from Kanine Records here. Definitely check them out if they come through your town. They return to NYC in late February, and you can get the deets here.
Anchorage - Surfer Blood