Surf City – Kudos

A good guitar record this, the opener Crazy Rulers of the World is pretty basic droney rock but it does what it sets out to do, let everyone know what they’re going to get, sonically and make a decent enough racket. The LP really kicks off with the second track, See How The Sun is a marvelously simple and effective pop song with a touch of very early Guided By Voices about it. They can write a good uncomplicated pop song, (even though the overall feel of Kudos is fairly trippy) and ICA is also an indication of this talent.

The band employ a busy, tippy tappety beat in a lot of their songs – a factor which might at first make things sound a bit underpowered, but actually works in the favour of tracks like Icy Lakes, Autumn, and In Times of Approach. It’s a bit like the sub-Kraut beat Stereolab adapted from Liebezeit and Dinger: its energy and fluidity gives the songs a charm and that a heavier drum-fill would have obliterated. Talking of things past, Surf City also seem to be very aware of the thread that binds bands like the Mary Chain and the Beach Boys together, (funnily enough you can hear it very strongly on the appropriately named Retro). Things can get a little repetitive on tracks like Teachers, and the singer’s voice can get lost at times, but there are always tracks – like Yakuza Park – that are pretty and languorous enough to suggest that the band have more up their sleeve.

A fun record.