From Reno to LA, surf punk band Surf Curse returns with their fourth album, “Magic Hour”. Started by childhood friends drummer/vocalist Nick Rattigan and guitarist/vocalist Jacob Rubeck, this band has created something truly magical in this record. Bassist Henry Dillon and Guitarist Noah Kholl help to flesh out the band’s sound perfectly.
Recorded at the infamous Electric Lady Studios, which has been the recording spot for the likes of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Wonder, this album is a clear nod to the legends who have recorded there previously.
A review of their 2019 album, “Heaven Surrounds You”, can be found here. Before the singles for this record came out, I had only listened to a dabble of Surf Curse. Upon the release of the second single for this album, “TVI”, it was immediately all I could listen to for the next two months.
The Magic Trick
The sound of this album is silky smooth magic. The band almost called this album “Milky Magic” because they wanted to emulate and create a milky, white magic sound.
First off, I have to give major props to lead vocalist Nick Rattigan, who somehow manages to display an incredible vocal performance all while tearing it up on the drums, which is no easy feat.
Nick Rattigan also makes music under the persona Current Joys, which has a totally different sound and feel when compared to Surf Curse. The range of sounds and feelings Nick Rattigan can create throughout his music is commendable.
There are too many tracks on this album that have immediately stuck with me. If I had to name my three favorites from the record, they would probably be, “Self Portrait”, “Fear City” and “TVI”. All three tracks highlight the new steps Surf Curse has taken in their sound and what I enjoy about this album.
This album is Surf Curse at their most energetic. Rattigan’s visceral “YEAH”s throughout Self Portrait is heightened energy that can be found nowhere else in the Surf Curse discography. The discordant, blaring saxophone in “Fear City” makes it one of the most memorable tracks on the record.
However, the band does not forget the roots of their sound. There’s some classic Surf Curse in tracks like “Cathy”, “Lost Honor” and “Sugar” that will instantly get stuck in your head and give homage to their most popular tracks such as “Freaks” or “Disco”.
My only problem throughout the entirety of the 44-minute album is that I feel some tracks, especially the six-minute ones, could have been slightly shortened. Besides that, this is an excellent record. I highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys rock or punk music.
This record is probably my favorite of the year so far. I’m considering going to see them on tour the weekend before all of my finals. I wouldn’t do this for many other bands but hearing “Magic Hour” live would be incredible.
As Surf Curse’s discography continues to grow, they continue to vary and improve upon their already solid sound. I look forward to their future projects and how they will continue to build their discography.