Known for a mix of pop-flavored riffs with catchy distortions, Surfer Blood brought their ‘Pythons’ tour to the Crescent Ballroom in downtown Phoenix this past Thursday night (10/24), where they closed the show with one of their more sonically expansive songs. From their enigmatically titled 2011 EP ‘Tarot Classics’, “Drinking Problem” is in one respect part of a tradition as old as music itself: turning one’s hardships, weaknesses, and demons into music. The music and lyrics are suitably hazy, evoking, as the beat intensifies, a moment of lucidity within the stupor of hitting rockbottom. Whereas the Beach Boys, the surfer band of another generation, hid its band members’ failings behind a perfectly manicured image of squeaky-clean All-American fun, Surfer Blood doesn’t hide its emotional cuts and bruises. On the contrary, Surfer Blood reminds you that, like life itself, hitting the waves means being willing to take a major swell and letting it slam you back into the ocean. Sometimes you ride in, standing tall. Sometimes you wipeout. And sometimes there’s blood. Video credit: David Martínez, Crescent Ballroom, Thursday, October 24, 2013.