New album will be out this summer. It better be anyway.
A couple of years ago, London-based alt rockers Black Surf smacked me upside the head with their churning and fuzzy take on 90s alternative rock. Playful, melodic, and huge sounding, they immediately appealed to my inner 90s grunger. That guy is never too far from the surface to be fair. Now, they’re back. With big plans.
We had a chat with the band about their upcoming album, their touring plans dubbed Surfapolooza, and their upcoming documentary. Enjoy.
Overblown: Rumour has it that you have a new line-up sorted and a new record on the way. Care to elaborate?
Black Surf: The rumours are true. It essentially became Ali and me at the back end of last year. We then found our third man and soulmate in the form of Diggle, who is now bringing the thunder with the low end and synths. So we’re a three-piece now. The 2nd record comes out in the Summer, no official release date yet, but it’s going to be out at some point, isn’t it.
Overblown: What is Surfapolooza?
Black Surf: That’s a big question! We wanted to change up touring to how we usually do it. We’re all into health, plant-based diets, meditation, so we’re doing what we usually do as well as factoring in other people for some awesome collaborations. It’s an alternative blueprint for touring.
Overblown: You have three new tracks on your website. How do they compare to your previous material?
Black Surf: It’s a lot more mature sounding, every band says that, but it is. Heavy synth, heavy bass, big drums, great vocals…there you go, you’ll like it. If you don’t, well…you’re gonna like it.
Overblown: How can people get their hands on them?
Blac Surf: Another cracking question. This is what we’re doing. Three songs from the new record that’s coming out this Summer, probably. You can go to www.blacksurf.co.uk and you can just get them. ‘Words of Wisdom,’ ‘Oh, Poor Me’ and ‘Major Regiment.’ There ya’ go, enjoy them. I think they’re crackers.
Overblown: There’s also a documentary/TV show. What made you want to create such a thing?
Black Surf: They came about to showcase everybody’s talent on a bigger level and another platform. And it’s good fun!
Overblown: How is the ‘Beast from the East’ going for you?
Black Surf: Well, it’s over now, so no more snow.
Overblown: What’s next for the band?
Surfapalooza has officially started from tonight, which is killer. From here, we’re up North next week and then onto the album promotion so keep your eyes, actually ears, to the ground for that.
What’s next for you, Overblown? Enough about us, I wanna know what’s up for you guys!
Read below as Adam Darowski reviews the new tracks.
Black Surf is a band that will constantly surprise you. They’ve surprised me time and again since the first time I stumbled on a couple of their tracks in December of 2014. Particularly, I was surprised that a band that recorded such gems as “Army of Sheep” and “Lights Out” could remain so relatively unknown.
In 2016, we finally got our first “official” release from the band, the 4-song EP “Let’s Pretend It’s Summer”. From the opening notes of “Sink”, I could tell this was an already tremendous band that had levelled up. This was my EP of the year.
Later in 2016, Black Surf threw us a curveball. They released a “Deluxe Edition” of the EP, chock full of 17-tracks. Yes, most of the additional material was previously recorded tracks that could be seen as b-sides. But the release also included absolutely shocking new tracks such as “Rebel and the Saint.” From the fuzzy opening synth of “Rebel”, it was clear Black Surf had surprised us—and levelled up—again.
When I love the sound of a band as much as I love Black Surf’s, I get nervous with every release. Can it possibly live up to the previous one? The Surfers are now back with three new tracks from their upcoming full-length album. Not to brag (okay, maybe a little) but I’ve gotten my hands on the whole album. Right now at blacksurf.co.uk you can download “Major Regiment”, “Words of Wisdom”, and “Oh, Poor Me.” They are tracks 2, 3, and 4 on the new album.
Track 1, “Open Fire,” starts like a continuation of “Let’s Pretend It’s Summer”. It is infectious, raucous, and full of energy. It immediately alleviated my nerves about hearing new material.
But then, just like the opening notes of “Sink” and “Rebel and the Saint” before it, I was in for my latest surprise. “Major Regiment” puts Black Surf on yet another level. If you can imagine a track that combines the best qualities of Weezer, Grouplove, and that quirky album that Steve from Blues Clues recorded back in 2003, you can picture what I’m talking about. It’s dreamy and it’s crunchy. For a band that wears its influences on its sleeves, the resulting combination is refreshingly original.
“Words of Wisdumb” departs from Black Surf’s signature sound even more, beginning with a softly strummed acoustic guitar that begs for the rest of the band to accompany it. When the rest of the band finally kicks in, you sit there wondering if anyone could write a teen movie worthy of such a beautiful track.
“Oh, Poor Me” is perhaps the most Black Surf-y of the three tracks, featuring thick rhythm guitars behind beautiful harmonies accented by a singable lead guitar line.
Keep an eye out for this record. Between the four aforementioned tracks and other standouts like “Theramona,” “I Left The Earth,”, and “Waves,” this is the record I’ll be measuring all releases up to when I consider my Album of the Year.
Find Black Surf on Facebook.