Surfer Blood 

Surfer Blood's name suggests menace, and the cover art of the group's debut, Astro Coast — a mosaic of an open-jawed great white shark — is downright bloodthirsty. But there's nothing savage about Surfer Blood's wistful brand of guitar music. The Florida quartet doesn't shy away from catchy melodies amid distortion and fuzz, creating reverb-drenched tunes that retain the accessible appeal of '90s influences such as Pavement and Teenage Fanclub. With lingering optimism and cheery, echo-ridden riffs, Surfer Blood combines shoe-gaze crescendos with power-pop revs. For a smeary guitar record, Astro Coast possesses remarkable clarity and focus, even as it alternates between surf rock and pristine guitar noodling. The result is the unabashed sound of endless summer, coated with an acid wash of distortion that sounds the way a bleached-out Polaroid looks.

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