Tarot Classics (Deluxe)
From the first song of Tarot Classics, it’s obvious that Surfer Blood has been touring a lot. “I’m Not Ready” opens the band’s 2011 EP with a musical tautness and chemistry that can only come from playing shows every night for a long time. What’s more interesting is how these songs strongly hint at where the band’s musical direction is heading, having harvested fields of buzz that sprouted around its 2010 debut album, Astro Coast, into a contract with Warner Brothers. Where the band’s previous recordings yielded ‘90s-inspired indie rock that resonated with ‘60s surf-guitar reverb, these songs are cleaner-sounding; a sharper focus on catchier melodies and more strategically arranged songs have weaned Surfer Blood from heavy guitar distortion and effect pedals. “Miranda” borrows heavily from Weezer’s power-pop blueprint, while “Voyager Reprise” bounces on dazzling synthesizers and vocal melodies that match the guitar lines. The slight krautrock influence in “Drinking Problem” sets it up for ideal remix territory.