New Zealand band Surf City’s new album We Knew It Was Not Going To Be Like This continues their love affair with psychedelic, reverb-swathed guitar pop, drawing from their Flying Nun forefathers The Clean and The Chills, as well as the fuzzed-up dream pop of The Jesus and Mary Chain and the loopy noise of Animal Collective. This time round the songwriting is stronger, the tunes are hookier and the sound is even more lush.
Named after a random snippet of overhead conversation in a crowded South Korean bar, We Knew It Was Not Going To Be Like This captures a haze of broken connections, isolation in the belly of the city. Recorded in snippets from different corners of the world - New Zealand, New York and South Korea.
Initially a four-piece formed by Davin Stoddard and Josh Kennedy with Josh’s brother Jamie on bass and Logan Collins on drums, Surf City released their debut EP in 2008. Arch Hill went on to put out their debut album Kudos domestically in 2010, before it was released worldwide by Fire Records in 2011.
The album enjoyed plaudits from the likes of Stereogum, who praised their “impressively assured sound” and “perfect 2-minute pop storm.” Pitchfork noted that “their punky psychedelic pop is impressive” and admitted “Surf City’s pleasure for pleasure’s sake approach already has me pining for more.”
We Knew It Was Not Going To Be Like This is in some ways a massive progression from Kudos, with richer context, deeper lyrics and a melancholy undertow. Musically, the band have developed their signature reverb-heavy fuzz rock in to something more gutsy but whilst retaining a keen ear for melody to create some unforgettable tunes.
We Knew It Was Not Going To Be Like This – out on Arch Hill 23rd of August 2013
You can buy the album on LP, CD and Digital at Flying Out