Pythons - Surfer Blood

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 100
    This plays like any other band's greatest hits. Every song is gold.
  2. 83
    [Pythons] is an effortless balance of melodic whoa-whoas and yelp-shout-screams--the kind of songs you used to discover watching MTV's 120 minutes in your dorm room at 3.a.m. [14 Jun 2013, p.94]
  3. Jun 13, 2013
    It's got an edge, moreso than Astro Coast, and that element of creeping unease makes Pythons a fuller, more mature and honest album than its precursor.
  4. 80
    By smoothing out the rough edges, the guys found new ways to bleed. [Jul 2013, p.104]
  5. Jun 17, 2013
    A neat, consistently solid 34-minute record unconcerned with peaking or hits. [No.99, p.61]
  6. Jun 28, 2013
    The band’s most mainstream offering yet and first for their major label home.
  7. Jun 10, 2013
    The more the band embraces Pythons' slickness, the better it sounds; it's a pleasant, ingratiating set of songs that don't aim to be anything more than that.
  8. Jun 10, 2013
    Despite this dark lyrical shift, the group is still aping sunny surf-rock and collegiate-pop tropes.
  9. Jun 13, 2013
    Truth be told, Pythons seem to feel pretty conflicted about itself: hooky, Weezer-ish guitar pop offset by desperate, discomfiting lyrics, fleeting hopes of reconciliation quickly dashed by heavy-hearted resignation.
  10. 65
    The tunes are there, they’re tsunami big and surfer cool--the lyrics are there, bold, bleak and biting--but there’s been an oversight when it comes to stamping on the pedals, letting rip and allowing Surfer Blood to tear this material a new hole.
  11. Jul 22, 2013
    It makes for a suitably successful second record that, regardless of the salacious story surrounding the band that made it, pretty much lives up to the inspiring promise of their first.
  12. Jun 14, 2013
    The main issue with this album is that it is not terrible and it is not brilliant. It is simply there.
  13. Jun 13, 2013
    Nothing about Pythons is going to win over anyone who didn't like the band's debut, nor will it alienate existing fans. [Jun-Jul 2013, p.91]
  14. Jun 11, 2013
    The result is a fine summer pop record that encourages listeners to approach as they will.
  15. Jun 11, 2013
    Pythons is a fine slice of punchy garage-pop, the kind to be blared from car stereos on sun-fueled, summer road trips that would coincide with the album’s June release.
  16. 60
    The hooks are still here, but that level of hyper-attentive musicianship is absent on this decidedly punchier, glossier effort.
  17. Jun 11, 2013
    Between Pitts' unrelieved misery and the tepid music, Pythons makes a bitter, unsatisfying brew. Imbibe at your own risk.
  18. Jun 11, 2013
    Producer Gil Norton smooths the foursome's edges while interjecting horror-comic backup yelps that marked his Pixies work decades ago; little else here would befuddle aging Cure or Weezer fans.
  19. Jun 7, 2013
    Pythons is less dynamic than its predecessor, with fewer chord changes and less overall complexity.
  20. Jun 11, 2013
    On Astro Coast Pitts stared at the bright, unwritten future in front of him, but on Pythons he’s locked in place, rendered motionless by the oppressive chip on his shoulder.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jun 19, 2013
    Their first LP had it all, cool guitars, great riffs, awesome vocals, and so does all of Python, but this time around it just seems a little tired. But still a very strong album. Full Review »
  2. Jun 18, 2013
    A rough, rigid rebirth of classic 1990s alternative sounds blow through each verse of Surfer Blood's sophomore album, Pythons. Every track features its own attractive melodies with surprising twists and turns. From smooth, symphonic beats on some tracks, to death metal screams and thrashing guitars on others.

    "Demon Dance", the opening track that encompasses all of what Surfer Blood is, shows off the real talent of the band. The schizophrenic tempo shifts and emotions shown on in the vocals creates a track of chaos. "Gravity" follows with a Foo Fighters-esque guitar section and some calming indie rock harmonies. A heavier side of Surfer Blood is shown in "Weird Shapes". With a seemingly innocent beginning, the track suddenly becomes a black-hole of swirling bedlam The next three tracks, "I Was Wrong", "Squeezing Blood", and "Say Yes To Me", manage to fill a void of nothingness with catchy guitar chords and spot-on harmonies. "Blair Witch" provides another upbeat track full of enthusiastic vocals and epic instrumentation. "Needles And Pins" slows things down ever so slightly with an added acoustic guitar, dreamy vocal harmonies, and meaningful lyrics. "Slow Six" brings the album to a much needed progressive song. With many upbeat, indie-sounding tracks, "Slow Six" showcases the raw power of Surfer Blood. With a slow, dragged-out intro, the song quickly transports you to the middle of a concert set in the mid 90s. Finally, "Prom Song" ends off the album in a similar fashion to how it began. With an almost poppy track of guitar-filled goodness, the album has come full circle.

    Pythons is a fantastic throwback to what real rock music is. With a twist of indie pop thrown in the mix, the album is a spectacle to listen to. Every track leaves you with a permanent grin and the urge to start a mosh pit.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 17, 2013
    This album on the whole is descent, but that is because it is a mix of great and lackluster songs. The first few songs on the album had me worried. They were full of generic rythm and nothing felt creative or even catchy. A few songs in the album really starts to take flight A few songs including 'Weird Shapes' and 'Blair Witch' were one's that caught me and stuck. I'll be relistening to the album just for the handful of super quality songs, but I'll be skipping through just as many as I listen to. Full Review »