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CD of The Week

Week of 2/06/17

    Surfer Blood - Snowdonia (Joyful Noise)

    Snowdonia is a suitable name for an album released in February but the fourth record from West Palm Beach, FL band Surfer Blood, plows into a much deeper meaning. The band has faced personal obstacles and losses within the last year. Tragically, they lost co-founder and guitarist Thomas Fekete to a rare form of cancer at the young age of 27. “Six Flags in F or G” was written for Fekete and has a darker aura, consumed with grief. This song takes influences from The Breeders, Swell Maps and Can, all bands that Fekete turned lead singer John Paul Pitts on to, thusly influencing his tribute to his friend.

    The album starts with the upbeat “Matter of Time,” full of addictive rhythms and lively hooks. Though the name of the second song is “Frozen,” the guitar work is anything but. “Dino Jay” is a breezy tune that propels the fluidity of the record's sound.

    The title track is the longest song on the album clocking in at 7:45, but it has so many captivating components. It feels like an alluring composition rather than a prolonged song. In a recent interview, Pitts said he took the name from a dream about a muse named “Snowdonia.”

    “Taking Care of Eddy” starts out with a noisy and disoriented sound and even includes Egyptian undertones. By mid-song, it drastically takes a turn back into the calm, breezy tones that encapsulate the majority of the melody on this record. The song turns once more and finishes out as a pop-punk stronghold. The final song of the album, “Carrier Pigeon” was influenced by yet another personal obstacle in Pitts’ life. Shortly after Fekete's death, Pitts learned that his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and “Carrier Pigeon” was written for her.

    While Snowdonia is an album built on tragedy, it all fits together like a pristine snow capsule that glistens atop a mountain, just as the album artwork depicts. Hopefully that built up precipitation will soon melt away to reveal brighter times ahead for Surfer Blood.

    Surfer Blood return to Philadelphia at Johnny Brenda’s on April 18th.
    Review by Gina Rullo

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