Surf rock is something that has traditionally always lived on America’s west coast. The laid back lifestyle that the area supposedly cultivates is perfectly matched in the music, and it’s heritage is still seen today, with Wavves and Best Coast both putting out new albums that Pitchfork have seen fit to declare ‘Best New Music’. Whilst the languid tunes will forever be linked in with the likes of California, the east coast is more renowned for giving birth to punk rock and all that followed. Slow Animal may be based in New Jersey, but it’s not difficult to hear that their focus is the other side of the country.
Their songs are predictably filled with reverb and distortion, whilst their own bandcamp happily brands them ‘fuzz pop’. There is another element at play here though, and for all their best intentions, the duo never truly manage to escape their roots. For all the overtones of surfing and garage pop, the foundations that they are laid upon are fast and furious, adding an intensity to a genre that is otherwise languid. This juxtaposition of ideologies is precisely why their demos are such an enthralling listen – with their four tracks clocking in at just over 10 minutes, it’s nothing short of a joyride. Far from laid back, it’s the Californian dream pumped up on amphetamine, a wonderfully dizzy collaboration.