By Jessie Scoullar
This self-titled album opens with single Electric State of Calm and it jumps out of the speakers. Auckland band Surrealistic are new to me, but Electric State is familiar, possibly due to its inclusion on last year's Grey Lynn Park Festival album. The warm guitars, fuzzy vocals and strident chorus are instantly endearing, although the rest of the 11 tracks take a little longer to catch. At just over 36 minutes, the album stays safely within the confines of hook-and-harmony-laden guitar pop, remaining true to named influences the Flaming Lips and the Beatles, with the cacophonous ending to Oceans Caving In bringing to mind the close of A Day in the Life. There's a little bit of Grandaddy on The Town That Holds, and tracks like Cryin on the Inside offer more on successive listens. Surrealistic have been together since 1998, and the songs on this album were recorded over the last five years. The result is a prism of relaxed, spacey guitars on the well-trodden pop indie path, and worth keeping an eye out for.