Published on September 23rd, 2022

Surfbort by Parker Day

Surfbort formed at the perfect time. In 2014, when the world seemed a little lighter, Dani Miller left California — to work in film in New York City, oddly enough — and fell in with a group of freaks and misfits that evolved into the band that is Surfbort today. It’s almost always interesting when someone takes a genre and adds something unexpected that works, and that’s just what this band named after a Beyoncé lyric did. They aren’t breaking ground, musically, but they are talented, and have a lane to themselves of over-the-top expressionism and punk-rock surrealism.

So much so that they caught the eye of creatives at Gucci, who saw in Surfbort an honest representation of a lost New York where art meant anything goes. Soon Miller and another punk-rocker Amy Taylor of the Australian band Amyl and the Sniffers, became the de facto faces of Gucci, plastered on ads and building walls around New York City. It’s a strange turn of events for punk bands to represent high-fashion opulence, but that’s where we are now; the inmates have taken over the asylum.

Surfbort have been able to walk the tightrope that is being cool musicians’ favorite band — vouched for by members of Blondie, Butthole Surfers and The Strokes — and representing a global brand while keeping some grit on their shine. Plus there’s only so much you can gussy up Miller, part fearless ringleader (her Texas punk-scene veteran bandmates are twice her age), alien agitator and pagan downtowner.

It kind of makes sense that Surfbort have broken through: The punk aesthetic they ooze is insouciance to the tenth degree. Basically, they charge ahead with music, fashion and whatever else comes along with a reckless abandon that mirrors teenage positivity and possibly naiveté. We can debate how much good connections, great management and even better PR have contributed, but the music is still fun, weirdo garage punk, and who doesn’t love that?

Surfbort and the Black Tones open for Me First and The Gimme Gimmes, 6:30pm Oct. 22 at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale. All ages. ~ Tim Moffatt