Live Review

SXSW 2010: Surfer Blood, Mohawk Patio, Austin

Maybe it was just a bad day for them.

I can’t believe how bad Surfer Blood sucked! I was so ready to love these guys. For one, they have probably the best band name I’ve heard in years. For another their MySpace recordings are actually pretty decent. It’s the kind of music you would expect to love in person, being buzzed across a dance floor by energetic sine waves. But maybe it was just a bad day for them. The rock and roll formula, that endlessly repeating radio refrain, is what dominated this otherwise quite talented band.

To give you an idea: such was the lack of enthusiasm, from band and public, that when they first started I actually thought it was the background music they throw on between sets. Then, determined to dispel the suck that I heard all around me, I shoved to the front of the crowd. There was about as much love there as in the back, only punctuated by the occasional knot of hometown groupies shouting out the lyrics and straining desperately for eye contact with somebody, anybody, on stage.

Too bad. But I’m not convinced it’s curtains for Surfer Blood. Just hope that next time they coagulate into a live act more deserving of that all important ingredient: life.

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