Wavves – Wavvves
It has been a productive year for Nathan Williams of the beach punk band Wavves. He released his first self titled album, a cassette, two 7”s, and now his second LP entitled Wavvves. Whew… but, ferrrrrrrrrrrt. You can’t help but give him credit for being prolific and releasing everything he creates without a filter, but herein lies the problem of not having a solid, well crafted album from beginning to end. His lo-fi approach reminds me of Times New Viking’s recording style in that they are lo-fi for the sake of being lo-fi. They have enough money and resources to record albums properly, but they’re too effing cheap to cough up the dough. It’s either that or they think they’ll get credibility for sounding raw, edgy, and punk as fuck but really, they just sound like total shiite on record. I really don’t understand why someone would want to record an album where a listener can’t even make out the lyrics? Everything is hitting red on the dials while recording which makes it clouded in white noise and fuzz to the point where it all breaks up. This minimal recording method can be thrown to the waste-side, but the album does have some shining moments when the album’s few strong songs break through Williams’ pot-fueled instrumental experiments.
“So Bored” is an instant ear grabber that breaks the trance of “More Fur,” a song in which Williams is setting the course for the Enterprise to deep space and does little more than use delay and an arpeggiator. “So Bored” brings things back to earth by starting off with a driving drumbeat that gets one of the raddest and dirtiest guitar intros I’ve heard in awhile. That’s right mofos, I just said rad. The vocals soon follow and the song is a beautiful dirty mess which showcases his melodic sensibilities instrumentally and vocally. (Note: try and figure out which 80’s song he copies with his closing guitar line. First one to do so gets free drinks on me the whole show when they play here in Austin for SXSW). “No Hope Kids” is another rocker that talks about, well…I don’t know because you can’t understand what in the hell he is saying since the recording sucks so bad. But the chorus is…(drum roll) “Nooooo-hooooope-kiiiiiiiiiiiiidsssss!” “Surf Goth” is another honorable mention just based on the weirdness of the singing alone. It sounds as if Williams invited Gene and Dean Ween over and began knocking a few rounds back and taking whip-its together.
It is tough to say whether Williams’ output is something to admire or if it needs to be controlled. I like the fact that he is willing to put everything out there for everyone. The problem for me is that his ideas seem a little fragmented at times. The space voyages that he goes on are tiring and trying of one’s nerves. Alot of artists will use noises to add to a song for texture later. Some of these ideas can be used, some thrown away. Sometimes the artist will release the songs that aren’t quite as strong on b-sides or reissues in the future. Williams needs to critique himself a little bit more to make an album that is more defined. Shave off the fat, get rid of the noises and the songs that aren’t as good and be patient for at least another 6 months to a year. Then he’ll hopefully have from beginning to end, a slew of well-rounded, more thought out songs.
We will definitely get to see step by step, note for note, the progression or digression of this 22 year old. Will he wait a little bit longer on his next release and fine tune these thoughts? I am curious to see which way Williams is going to go because there are good moments on Wavvves where you can see the hints of potential. I just need to be able to hear what he is saying.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/07-so-bored.mp3]