Surfer Blood, ‘Tarot Classics’ (Kanine)
Despite a reliance on familiar, guitar-driven tunes, Surfer Blood’s latest has no interest in embracing traditional rock’n’roll swagger. Blame (or thank) John Paul Pitts, whose pitch-vaulting voice always sounds a touch more melancholic than he perhaps intends. Compared to the band’s almost shoegazing 2009 debut, this follow-up EP lacks the level-busting reverb that once triggered Dinosaur Jr. comparisons. Instead, the Florida band is now content to catch Pixies-ish waves of gentler mutilation and ride them ?to college-rock bliss. “Drinking Problem” ?provides the lone exception; its sturdy, submerged bass line pushes the guitars back into ear-bleed ?territory.