Surfer Blood And Japandroids Killed It At The Echo In Los Angeles On Black Friday
If you were avoiding the stores on Black Friday, the Echo in Los Angeles was the place to be, for the Surfer Blood and Japandroids show. Both bands are newcomers to the indie rock scene. Surfer Blood (from Palm Beach, Florida) created a stir on the blogs in early Fall with their release of the single ‘Swim’. Japandroids (from Vancouver) drew the bulk of the crowd. Not surprising since tracks off their album, Post-Nothing, can be heard playing at the trendier dives in the area.
See photos from the event here.
Surfer Blood took the stage and kicked off the set with their album opener, ‘Floating Vibes’. The band was instrumentally tight, although the vocals weren’t as strong as they are on the album. Nonetheless, the band won over the crowd with their shy confidence and boyish charm. At one point, the lead guitarist joked into the mic, “We’re all fifteen”. Laughs from the crowd verified the growing energy and strengthened the rapport.
At their best, Surfer Blood sounded like a reverby version of Weezer or a stonier version of The Shins. The highlight of the set was the poppy Caribbean-sounding song ‘Take It Easy’– it puts most of Vampire Weekend’s songs to shame. I can’t wait until these guys grow facial hair and hit us with another album. Officially, their debut album (Astro Coast) won’t be released until January 2010, but based on the leaked version we know it will be hailed as one of the best of the year.
What Surfer Blood lacked in experience and energy, Japandroids made up for in sweat and ferociousness. The guitarist-drummer duo had no problem tag teaming vocal duties while shreding thru their garage punk anthems. The audience was singing along with “The Boys Are Leaving Town” while pumping fists in the air and jumping into each other. It was the first time I’ve seen a mosh pit at the Echo. By the end of the set, kids were stage diving (including members from Surfer Blood and the bearded merch dude). Sonically, the guitar tone and the precision of the drumming were the highlights. My only complaint was that the micing of the snare drum was low. The band looked pretty bad ass with a power fan blowing their hair back, but the sweat dripping off their faces was a tell-tale sign that it was no prop.
Keep your eyes on Surfer Blood and be sure to check Stereogum.com and Buzznet for more updates and information on Surfer Blood’s touring and new music.
Artist: Surfer BloodAlbum: Astro CoastRelease Date: January 19Label: Kanine
01 Floating Vibes 02 Swim 03 Take It Easy 04 Harmonix 05 Neighbor Riffs 06 Twin Peaks 07 Fast Jabroni 08 Slow Jabroni 09 Anchorage 10 Catholic Pegasus