Review: Surf Harp – Mr. Big Picture

February 21st, 2018 by Cara Hullings

Surf Harp by Micah E. Wood

Photo by Micah E. Wood

Artist: Surf Harp

Album: Mr. Big Picture

Release Date: 2/23

Rate: 9.2/10

LIYL: Talking Heads, The Strokes

Surf Harp’s sophomore album, Mr. Big Picture, is a new, unique sound for the 5-piece local band. Drawing from their garage pop origins as well as their psychedelic 90’s sound from their first LP, Peel, Surf Harp has finally found their own rhythm. This new album perfectly blends their previous style with a hint of 80’s new wave in sound and in concept. A lot of the tracks take the average aspects of a mundane office life and make it interesting by exploring concepts that are not-so-mundane like not fitting in, death, and even what seems to me like dissociation. Such lyrical writing reminds me of Talking Heads, which is exactly what this self-proclaimed art rock band is going for.

Their song writing blends perfectly with these new wave lyrical themes. Mr. Big Picture not only includes varying, layered vocals, synth, and layered guitar, but it also experiments with distorted, lo-fi samples from everyday objects, such as a vacuum cleaner and power tools. Such experimentation allows each song to have its own personality, giving the album a holistic integrity as an art piece. My favorites are “D.I. Cig,” “Mirror Maze,” which makes you want to dance with its post-punk feel and alternating vocals, as well as “Mr. Big Picture,” which gives you the band’s pop roots with an art twist. However, all the tracks rock in their own way, making this an album you absolutely need to listen to. Find it here on Friday when it’s released by Friends Records or on iTunes. The record release party is being held at The Windup Space on Friday night.

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