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Surf City's self-titled debut EP arrived in 2008, but you could be forgiven for thinking that the band had actually time-warped in from the early 1990s. Over six songs the Auckland, New Zealand, quartet displayed an unabashed yen for vintage noise-pop-- cherry-picking guitar moves and clipped vocal cadences from the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Clean, and Pavement

On full-length, Kudos, Surf City remains preoccupied with the college rock sounds of yesteryear. But this time around they've drifted in a slightly stonier direction-- away from the minimalist-pop moves of the Clean and toward the circular space-rock of Spacemen 3, Stereolab, and Bailter Space. Album opener "Crazy Rulers of the World" buzzes along on an endlessly repeating two-note bass riff. "Icy Lakes" goes one better, riding a single pulsing chord through eight minutes of swooshing guitars and reverb-drenched yelps. It's a record heavy on hypnotic grooves-- phased drones swooping through the stereo field while the rhythm section churns. 

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