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Welcome to the next big thing, same as the last big thing. Surfer Blood are a bunch of happy-go-lucky Floridian whippersnappers who refer to each other by initials and make a kind of shiny grunge lite half way between the crunchy power pop of Weezer and janglier side of the Pixies. This, their debut, is presumably targeted at people who enjoyed the last Killers album but wished it could have been just a little more bombastic and had a little less personality. Occasionally there are hints of pleasing nostalgia – ‘Twin Peaks’ wouldn’t sound out of place on a Brat Pack movie soundtrack – but the majority of ‘Astro Coast’ is overly sheeny and lifeless. On the LP’s final track, the singer – JP – admits, with under-concealed pride, “a weakness for cocaine and liquor”. It’s a trait that often makes great rock stars, but seldom makes great rock music, and goes rather a long way to explaining the blandness on display here.

By Sam Walton

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