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We Knew It Was Not Going to Be Like This

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New Zealand's Surf City was inevitably compared to fellow Kiwi bands—The Clean, The Chills—due to its joyful, guitar-based pop music. Though to be fair, Surf City is only "pop" in the sense that its melodies are catchy and its rhythms bounce with a lightness of being. This band is far from a slick and sleek "pop" act, unless you consider Pavement (one of Surf City's favorite groups) to be polished pop music. Surf City's deliberately primitive and sometimes noisy recordings display a profound love for indie rock throughout the decades, with the airy productions on "It's a Common Life" and "Song from a Short-Lived TV Series" accentuating the few musical parts that hold it together. "NYC" adds a touch of drone to pay tribute to The Velvet Underground and Sonic Youth. An extra layer of reverb on "Claims of a Galactic Medium," sure enough, recalls the band's countrymen The Chills (imagine a touch of "Pink Frost" lurking in the mix). "No Place to Go" throws in a mesmerizing hum. "I Want You" clangs like a cool and indifferent garage rock band.


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...
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We Knew It Was Not Going to Be Like This, Surf City
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