WHO ARE THEY? A suitably surfy indie-rock outfit from Florida whose founding members originally christened their band Jabroni Sandwich — so really, Surfer Blood is a step in the right direction in more ways than one.
WHAT IS THIS? Their fifth studio release is exactly what its title and artwork suggest: A collection of covers. To their credit, it cuts a pretty wide stylistic and historical swath, including left-field cuts by everyone from Cream and Chad & Jeremy to Pavement, OutKast, Liz Phair and The Breeders (but no Fleetwood Mac, despite the Tusk-inspired pic).
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Gently scrappy and lightly surfy, in keeping with their general sonic profile — and in a way that gives these songs a loose, breezy immediacy that goes well with a covers set.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? Transfusions.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? Casually, the same way they made it.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Friendly, light, inspired, enjoyable, eclectic, unfussy, crunchy, sincere, cool, easygoing.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? OutKast’s Hey Ya is bubbly and bouncy; The Verlaines’ Death and The Maiden packs a decent jangle-rock punch; Chad & Jeremy’s Summer Song updates a British Invasion gem; and you have to respect any band that pulls out (and pulls off) Cream’s World of Pain.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘I’d like to get a look at their record collections.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? Now and then, like most covers albums.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE FOOD, WHAT KIND OF FOOD WOULD IT BE? No-name snacks that turn out to be almost as tasty as the real thing.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? Streaming a surfy band’s stuff seems fair enough.