Pythons

Up from the indie minors, Florida's Surfer Blood fill their second full-length with insistent jangle, Anglophile emoting and hangdog melodies that suggest collegiate mope rock might never go away. Producer Gil Norton smooths the foursome's edges while interjecting horror-comic backup yelps that marked his Pixies work decades ago; little else here would befuddle aging Cure or Weezer fans. John Paul Pitts bares girlfriend woes, most flamboyantly in the catchy opener, "Demon Dance": "C'mon, Raven, let me connect to the server." His arrest last year for domestic battery – a case later dropped – casts a pall over his worries and apologies, though, which also get more pat from there.

From The Archives Issue 1185: June 20, 2013