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iTunes Review

This energetic New Zealand quartet revels in its own repetition on Kudos. The fact that they take their name from a Jesus and Mary Chain song (“Kill Surf City”) reveals part of their influence though hardly tells the whole story. Gauzy and delightfully hypnotic, the album delivers buzzing guitar-pop awash in distortion and murky psychedelic touches, all driven hard by pounding drums and throbbing bass. The fuzzed-out vocals and layers of echo make the lyrics largely incomprehensible, yet this helps to highlight the catchy melodies, especially on standouts “See How the Sun,” “Teachers,” “Retro,” and the concise and infectious title track. Two tracks break out of the mold and provide an abstract counterpoint to the skewed surf pop that dominates the album. “Icy Lakes” shimmers and swells for nearly eight minutes as it transcends its own rush of sound, while “Yakuza Park” builds slowly to a pulsating conclusion. Surf City’s first full-length, Kudos is a fun-filled swirl of hooks, genuinely gorgeous moments, and enough left-field wanderings to keep things interesting.

Customer Reviews

more, more, more....

can't get enough of these guys. there aren't enough bands around that can put together an album's worth of uplifting, jangly, psych surf jams. I don't think they'll be much of a secret for long.

Inspirational sound.

This band has an amazing and unique sound. Upbeat lo-fi noise pop with very positive melodies.


I love this album so much because it reminds me so much of The Clean, another New Zealand band from the 80's, who should be way more popular than they are. I would strongly recommend anyone who enjoys this to check them out because I feel this band was defiantly influences by them, especially the lead singer who sings and sounds like the guy from The Clean, I can't get over how similar it is, its like a new The Clean album for me, but with a little more contemporary feel!!!!


Formed: 2004 in Auckland, New Zealand

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Surf City became one of New Zealand's most buzzed-about bands in the early 2000s with their energetic melange of '60s-style pop melodies, Kiwi indie pop in the manner of the Clean and Tall Dwarfs, ringing surf guitar leads, and noisy indie rock influences such as the Pixies, Pavement, and the Jesus and Mary Chain. In fact, JAMC helped inspire the group's name; founders Josh Kennedy and Davin Stoddard, who met while browsing at a video store, originally named the band the Fibs, but soon changed the...
Full Bio
Kudos, Surf City
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Customer Ratings