by Mike Faloon
Surf City’s self-titled EP from 2007 is one of my favorite debut records of all-time. It’s an amazing update on the New Zealand sounds that defined that island’s music scene throughout the ‘80s and early ‘90s—the Clean, the Chills, the Verlaines, the Bats, and Sneaky Feelings, among others. Uptempo songs marked by simple but clever arrangements, literate lyrics that acknowledged the hardships of daily life without yielding to them, and anthemic gather-together-and-raise-‘em-high melodies. Surf City made a big splash in a few ponds, mine included. Then they went away.