Surprise Party – Circle of Death (EP Review)

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Surprise Party are a shoegaze/psych band from Winnipeg who cite The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Slowdive and Stereolab as their main influences. Of those three, they’re probably closest to the good ol’ BJM at their droniest point circa, well, Methodrone, albeit with more modern (i.e. higher-fidelity) production values.

Opener ‘Come Down’ didn’t really have me until 3.20 when a Take It From The Man!-esque guitar comes in, but after that, it really had me. ‘If You Melt’ is a heavier, droning tune, which is strong in its own right but might be forgotten because it leads into the real highlight here, ‘If You Fall’ which a shoegaze affair, capped off with a wailing, Ty Segall-aping guitar solo. Closer ‘Cut Me Again’ has them back in BJM mode again and it’s probably the closest they get in terms of actually sounding like Anton Newcombe.

Best track: ‘If You Fall’

If you like: recently-disbanded up Melbournians The Grand Rapids

Stream the EP here: https://surpriseparty420.bandcamp.com

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