Surfing Strange

Swearin'

Surfing Strange

You almost have to love a group cofounded by a member who played in a pop-punk band called P.S. Eliot (that someone being Allison Crutchfield, who was in P.S. Eliot with her Waxahatchee sister Kate Crutchfield). Between that charming factoid and the band’s immediately familiar brand of scrappy ‘80s and ‘90s college rock, the falling in love is swift. The most salient reference points on Surfing Strange are The Pixies, The Breeders, Superchunk, and Imperial Teen. Whether this Brooklyn quartet have yet to figure out how better to filter their influences or whether they just freakishly share vocal tones and postpunk structural sensibilities with their forbearers is unclear. If you can let go of that conundrum, Surfing Strange is as grand a collection of muscular indie rock as the band's self-titled 2012 debut. The warped and scraping guitars on the opening “Dust in the Gold Sack” have a great, visceral punch, and the towering, fuzz-crusted “Melanoma” and rumpled, sweet “Loretta’s Flowers” are heartbreakingly lovely in quite different ways. “Glare of the Sun” has a touch of ‘70s psych fever, and “Young” is endlessly charming, sounding indeed like a doe-eyed Bratmobile (circa 1993).

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