It's been over a year since domestic battery charges were leveled against Surfer Blood vocalist/songwriter John Paul Pitts (charges that have since been dropped, I suppose it is worth mentioning), and the band—although no doubt having experienced a permanent and potentially deserved blow to its reputation—appear to have trudged through the resultant backlash unaffected, musically. The group's forthcoming LP, Python (which contains more than a few, eerie lyrical allusions to the aforementioned situation) is sonically no less sunny than its predecessor, 2010's Astro Coast. Actually, it's even sunnier: Sickeningly melodic opener "Demon Dance" sounds approximately like a Jeff Lynne-produced Pixies track, with its indelible chorus and thick, slick, AM-gold sheen. Python might be the least cool record you hear this year. It could also end up being one of the best. MORGAN TROPER Also see My, What a Busy Week!
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