Monday, July 12, 2010

Review: Wavves- King of the Beach

Nathan Williams comitted career suicide as far as I'm concerned. His public meltdown in Spain last year was a hit with the hipster crowd on Youtube, and Williams' outbursts and problems are probably as forgiven and encouraged as those of Robert Pollard. And like Pollard, Wavves have been able to craft short, experimental, and mostly upbeat songs making for easy listening. "King of the Beach" is no different in that aspect, but in nearly all the others, this is almost a different band to begin with, and not just because of the members.

Borrowing from the late Jay Reatard, Williams has given his band new life and that means a new sound. The surf rock/lo-fi sound is still in tact, but these songs aren't just rockers, they're actually pop perfection, or as close to it as it can get anyway. There's an Animal Collective/AM Gold sound coming through, and as weird as it may sound, it works, and granted, that's only half the charm of the album and Wavves in general.

The other half of their charm has always been Williams' lyrics. On this album, he sounds defeated and is showing self loathing at its best. "Idiot" is a prime example with its laughs to lead off, before jumping into a pop-punk gem. "I'd say I'm sorry, but it wouldn't mean shit" Williams croons with a fast approach and "ooh's" and "aahs" to back him up. Williams clearly doesn't give a fuck, and probably doesn't have to. "Green Eyes" also basks in the pity party with lines like "my own friends hate my guts...I don't give a fuck...I don't give a shit", it's as cool as it sounds.

"Baseball Cards" follows later in the album and is the best example of their Animal Collective and Brian wilson like approach to songwriting, it's something we've heard a dozen times, but it still sounds fresh and invigorating. "Mickey Mouse" brings the same thing that made "Baseball Cards" fun to listen to, with these two tracks, it's really hard not to get lost in this album and what exactly Williams is doing.

Unlike M.I.A. who built up her reputation between albums only to not follow through, Williams goes in a totally different direction and delivers when it counts. "King of the Beach" may be a little repetitive at times and the contrating styles are nothing we haven't heard before, but at this point, nobody is doing it much better. Nathan Williams is a young guy, and we can only hope that he can keep everything together long to keep putting out music as good as this.

**** 1/2 out of *****

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