Album Review: Surf Curse – Nothing Yet

By Jon Fuchs, Music Director

[Danger Collective; 2017]

Rating: 9/10

Key Tracks: “Doom Generation,” “Cronenberg,” “All is Lost”

Back in 2013, the Reno, NV-based surf-rock duo Surf Curse became one of the most underrated indie bands of the past few years. After releasing a demo tape, their debut record Buds, and the Sad Boys EP all in one year, the team of Nick Rattigan and Jacob Rubeck gained an audience with their exciting guitar melodies, sad and relatable lyrics and quirky nostalgia for 80’s and 90’s pop culture, soon becoming a beloved band within LA’s The Smell community. After years of touring, solo projects and studio silence, the two have come back to release their sophomore record, Nothing Yet, which ups their production and writing skills, making it the best album they’ve released so far.

“Christine F” is the perfect opener for Nothing Yet, as the repetitive guitar riffs and laidback feel sets the mood for what’s to come. The two’s droned chanting of the same two lines over and over again also prepare the listener for the lyrical content that covers the record: “Killing my time, killing myself, killing my friends / Oh man, I’d do it again / I’m losing my mind, losing myself, losing my head / Oh man, I’m losing again…”

The album transitions into “Doom Generation,” which does for The Doom Generation what “Heathers” and “Fire Walk with Me” did for Heathers and Twin Peaks. Its catchy guitar riffs and fast drumming stick with you until the end, making it a highlight of the entire record. “The Strange and the Kind” and “Cronenberg” are two great tracks on the album that show Nick Rattigan’s excellent skills as a songwriter. “Cronenburg” especially, which takes its name from the iconic horror director and uses his typically gory style to describe a lover that has taken over Rattigan’s body.

“All is Lost” is arguably the best song Surf Curse has ever written, with its emotional and repetitive lyrics, eerie background synths and Rattigan’s heartbreaking vocal delivery coming together to create one of the most beautiful indie tracks you’ll hear all year. The album ends with “Falling Apart,” a quiet, synth-heavy ballad with solid vocal harmonies and emotional lyrics about depression. It’s a great closing track and perfectly ends such a beautiful record.

Nothing Yet is a perfect return for Surf Curse and is one of the best releases in their discography. Filled with relatable angst and beautiful atmospheres, Surf Curse has proved again to be one of the best bands currently around in West Coast DIY music. Please don’t let this be another slept-on classic, listen to Nothing Yet immediately.

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