There are a lot of times that a band stuns with an opening salvo only to falter a bit on the second step. Surf City's debut EP was a bristling six shot that had an immediacy to it that made their oncoming album highly anticipated. That album, though tenable, cooled a bit of the fire they had lit and met with a proper lukewarm response. However we are strong believers in second chances and on their sophomore LP the band jumps right back into that fire. Album opener "It's A Common Life" is one of the best pop tracks the band has ever laid their hands on, conveying a sense of longing ennui and bored shiftlessness in equal measures all with the propulsive bounce that first endeared them to us in the first place. Over the next few tracks the band continues to mine taught skinned pop that wanders through the current Kruatrock obsession that's taking place in the UK underground and seems to be touching down a bit in the band's native New Zealand as well. Those chugging Germanic grooves are perfectly counterbalanced by their jagged and jangled guitars that feel so unswervingly in line with the South Hemi tones we love so well at RSTB. The band is unequivocally back on their game and pushing pop to corners that are expansive and still accessible. Its hard to encapsulate the sound of a city sighing under the weight of a decade but somehow Surf City have made a record that feels every bit like a mirror of 2013; bright with purpose but fogged by the breath of those sighs. Repeat listening highly suggested.
Support the artist. Buy it: HERE (US/UK) or HERE (NZ)