One thing Surfer Blood's ace debut "Astro Coast" made clear is they're students of the indie rock canon. So frontman John Paul Pitts undoubtedly trained his ear on And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead circa 2002, when their heart-on-sleeve art rock masterpiece "Source Tags and Codes" was all the rage.

One thing Surfer Blood's ace debut "Astro Coast" made clear is they're students of the indie rock canon. So frontman John Paul Pitts undoubtedly trained his ear on And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead circa 2002, when their heart-on-sleeve art rock masterpiece "Source Tags and Codes" was all the rage.

Now the bands are touring together - Surfer Blood still taking "Astro Coast" victory laps while Trail of Dead supports prog-punk epic "Tao of the Dead," their best work in nearly a decade. If "Tao" is not as shout-to-heaven thrilling as their signature album, it's at least a welcome gust of breath for fans weighed down by a streak of strikeout LPs. It's also a worthy reason to brave The Basement on Thursday.