Album Review: Wavves – Wavvves [Bella Union]
Wavves have made quite a splash (sic.) over the last year or so. Very much the product of persistent blogger’s continued hype, the band released their first album (‘Wavves’) in 2008 and this latest effort is a clear continuation of the surf-thrash-punk style that the band honed so well on their debut.
Consisting of only two members – main-man Nathan Williams, who writes, sings and plays guitar and drummer Ryan Ulshe – Wavves write fantastic three-minute pop songs… Which they play in two minutes and obscure behind a massive wall of fuzz. Lyrically, they are very much Ramones-esque odes to the California slacker lifestyle – weed, beaches, pizza and weed (again) seem to be the main focus of Williams’ writing, although with Wavves, it’s really more about the feeling than the content.
After a good minute of warm-up noise in the form of opener ‘Rainbow Everywhere’, things kick-off proper with ‘Beach Demon’ a swinging nod to boredom, with a sing-along chorus. You can almost hear slacker kids the world over struggling out of old armchairs to join the chant. Of the 16 short tracks on ‘Wavvves’ ‘To The Dregs’ is this reviewer’s personal favourite, a one minute 56 second splurge of pop-hooks and scathing distortion that really digs its hooks into you. ‘Weed Demon’ offers a contrast, toning down the distortion and using a fragile falsetto vocal to emphasise Williams’ full paranoia.
Overall ‘Wavvves’ is a great little album that carries no pretensions and the songs work well together as a collection. It can, on occasion, creep into ‘samey’ territory, but for the most part the tracks maintain their own identity.
Written for Rivmixx