On their 2010 debut, Surfer Blood hit indie-pop nirvana a few times, notably on the African-guitar-spiked "Swim." This EP goes three-for-four, packing so many familiar hooks and devices, geeks may want to footnote them. The Smiths' tuneful melodrama ("I'm Not Ready") and the Pixies' guitar sugar rush ("Miranda") loom large. But John Paul Pitts' preppy tenor is coming into its own, especially on the tongue-tied confession "Voyager Reprise." The pop pandering is a little shameless, sure, but that's half the fun.
Listen to "Voyager Reprise":