Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
Who knows how many damned times it's been said that no man's an island. It doesn't really mean anything any more, when people still say it. It's supposed to have something to do with the idea that no one person is so independent and unaffected by other people, or able to affect other people, that they may as well be stranded with a lone palm tree and they're insular and crazy ass thoughts. These people are just made to feel like islands. They're made to feel like they're going this alone. They just might die out here with all of these crazy thoughts and there's not too much worse than that. The West Palm Beach band of young men - Surfer Blood - has a tendency to explore the lives of the kinds of people who wind up on these islands through all and no fault of their own. They run into others who might cause them serious hardship and concern. They run into people who think only of themselves and there they go, without any regard for how their behavior will affect anyone else. The characters who make up the population of their latest EP, "Tarot Classics," are those who have shot themselves in the foot more times than anyone ever should and then turned the gun on the feet of others. They've fired off shot after shot, emptied the chamber and then reloaded, waiting for their feet to heal and others to blast. What results are stories of mistrust and the shitheads that are mistrusted. They've done themselves no favors and they now must live around people who will hold them at arm's length. Even the girls that are being sought seem to have erred in the ways that they've treated those boys who've come seeking. People are left hanging and people are hung out to dry - two very different scenarios and yet they feel somewhat the same. There's little love loss for what sounds to be a former friend in "I'm Not Ready," when John Paul Pitts sings, "So you found someone new to lap your shit up for a while?/Honestly/Sooner or later/They will find out what you're made of, certainly/Then it's over." Pitts, guitarist Thomas Fekete, bassist Kevin Williams and drum TJ Schwartz have found the breeziness in those tense moments of shadows and darker spirits prevailing. Pitts has a rich and quavering way about his vocals, one that lends itself to us thinking that he's right in his assessment of these people who have been less than kind or gentle. His descriptions of these ill-gotten episodes - where at least one has been severely taken advantage of - sound like editorials from the New York Times if they had a tendency calling someone a fucking wanker. It sounds proper and deserved, as if the infringements on the relationships were nasty and unfair. He sings on "Drinking Problem," "You don't need a point of reference/You just need to be afraid," and we believe that there's reason to feel that something's coming around the corner to bite these low-roaders on the ass and then the balance will be centered.