New Zealanders Surf City have gotta be living a charmed life at present. Not only are they perfectly poised to capitalize on the current vogue for lo-fi, fuzzed-out Cali vibes and the rub of the Flying Nun scene, but they’ve got this fucking weirdo sensibility that keeps the music unexpected and newish (taking a left instead of a right, etc., etc.). Any time that there is an opportunity to go for the expected riff or melody or Pixies rip, Surf City gleefully take it in the opposite direction, and hence an aesthetic that is being over-strip-mined right now is really rendered fresh again. Surf City combine the more focused sounds of Jesus and Mary Chain’s Darklands with Ride’s spacey pout and the frayed edges of the Velvet Underground and Peter Jeffries. The vocals are that awesome kind of undersinging where it’s so nasal and out of tune that it sounds really great and emotional, like Dean Wareham in Galaxie 500. And the songs are whip-smart and compact. Good show.
Fire Records: www.firerecords.com