Surf City – We Knew It Was Not Going To Be Like This

A review of New Zealand band Surf City’s latest album almost demands to be bathed in name checks of bands from across the decades.

There’s the fuzzy, reverb heavy guitars of obscure ’60s psychedelic garage bands such as The Human Expression and The Misunderstood, which come across most effectively on the album’s opener and best track It’s A Common Life.


Then there’s the cool, New York sound of the Velvet Underground and later The Strokes on No Place To Go. Further name checks come towards the end of the album on Oceanic Graphs, which has the modern, psychedelic inventiveness of Animal Collective and Tama Impala.

Finally on What Gets Me By, which stretches to just under nine minutes, the album also takes a turn towards Television, with its intertwining new wave guitars taking the listener to a satisfying end.

Despite sounding like a whole bunch of other bands that is in no way a criticism. They’ve cherry picked some great sounds to blend with their core influence of 60s garage bands. It’s a neat trick that Hooded Fang did well on Tosta Mista and Django Django excelled at on their self titled debut album. Fans of both of those albums will find a lot to like here.


by Joe Lepper


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