ARTIST: Surfer Blood
TITLE: 1000 Palms
YEAR RELEASED: 2015
CHART ACTION: #160, #11 Indie, #16 Rock
SINGLES: Grand Inquisitor, I Can’t Explain
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: No
LINEUP: John Paul Pitts, Thomas Fekete, Kevin Williams, Tyler Schwartz, Michael McCleary.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Returning to the indie labels, Surfer Blood makes a looser record, but not a better record.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It seems that Surfer Blood, as time has gone on, has cut down on the elements that made them unique – their unpredictability. Even a return to the indie label circuits didn’t make them more adventurous. Instead, it codified their safety in their formula where they would have melodies somewhat buried in dense but sonically safe production.
“Grand Inquisitor” starts things out fine and hopeful, with tempo and sonic changes in a short period of time, but from there, the record becomes less and less memorable, with songs almost interchangeable for the most part. Only the final track, “NW Passage” changes it up a bit, moving into indie pop / folk land. That’s nice but not what they’re known for and it’s not their best work.
While decent, this is kind of disappointing and it really lost the band some momentum that they’d never recover.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Guitarist Thomas Fekete was diagnosed with sarcoma., and had to leave the band shortly after recording. He passed away in 2016.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE B-: Decent enough, but it’s disappointing that they didn’t take more chances.