Wavves: Wavvves

 

A

Wavves

Album: Wavvves
Label: Fat Possum
A

Wavves

Album: Wavvves
Label: Fat Possum

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By now, this basic list of stats is known: San Diego’s Nathan Williams is 22; he’s bored and lonely; he started Wavves on a whim last year inspired by boredom, loneliness, and weed, which he smokes a lot of and names songs after; he wasn’t/isn’t a musician; his music totally owns. As Wavves’ functioning debut (it’s technically the successor to Wavves—notice the additional “v”), Wavvves is about as simple as its author’s pedigree, but wildly more intriguing. Cobbled together out of guitar, a drum kit, and bad recording equipment, these songs sound like Beach Boys B-sides sent through a fantastic slack filter where making everything sound effortlessly shitty is as important as conveying effortless cool. (The latter is actually difficult.) There’s a strange magic in the surfy groove of “Gun In The Sun,” as well as Williams’ blown-out, harmonized vocals, which purport that he’s “just a guy having fun in the sun.” More likely, Williams stays in too much, as his music is often creepily insular (the anthemic qualities of “No Hope Kids” are offset by a truly mournful chorus). It's this claustrophobia and the surprising amount of variation between songs—“Rainbow Everywhere” is nuanced sound collage; “California Goths” is aggressive, noisy punk; “Surf Goth” is a warped rap tune—that makes Wavves less a follower of No Age, and more an apt complement to that band’s understated on-record breadth.

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