Surf City : Kudos

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Surf City : Kudos


New Zealand band Surf City aren’t, as you might superficially expect

New Zealand isn’t known for its surf culture. It’s not that the country doesn’t have the odd beach tucked away with rolling surf, and a regular community of die-hard surfers looking to imbibe and indulge the frenzied edge of marine existence, but New Zealand doesn’t tend to feature prominently in the list of sought-after surf destinations. Yet New Zealand is a land renowned for its tranquil spirit and awe-inspiring natural beauty – both attributes of surf culture.

New Zealand band Surf City aren’t, as you might superficially expect, obsessed with Jan And Dean, The Beach Boys and Terry Melcher’s studio dalliances with Bruce Johnston. They are, however, creating music that’s so refreshing and satisfying that you could easily find it nestled away in a hitherto secluded Pacific beach.

You can feel it immediately on Crazy Rulers Of The World, an intrinsically pleasing journey flanked on either side by The Stone Roses and The Clean. On See How the Sun, Surf City are out on the coastal road in their sleek convertible, imbibing the sea air and enjoying nature for every drop it’s worth; Kudos loosens the tempo for a moment before taking a trip toward the distinct Dunedin pop sensibility of yore.

After the bracing climatic edge of Icy Lakes, Teacher offers up a warm embrace of elegant pop before Yakuza Park meanders aimlessly, but contentedly into the sun like an acid freak welcoming the new day with wild-eyed enthusiasm.

Retro celebrates the rose-coloured memories of one’s youth against a psychedelic ‘50s soundtrack, just in time for In Times Of Approach to launch into a freaked-out session that gazes so hard into its own shoes it threatens to topple into another psychological zone. Cia is nothing short of a wicked rock track, packing the punch of Television on the best amphetamines New York could buy and Zombies is a spaced-out raga that nods incoherently and indulgently in the vague direction of Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Within any good album exists a journey of indulgence, pleasure and satisfaction – and so it is with Kudos. Surf City know their shit.

Surf City’s : Kudos is out now on Pop Frenzy Records