Sound: Nathan Williams is like that hip stoner everyone loved in class but couldn't hang out with outside of school because their lifestyle and methods were beyond extreme. Not that they were a menace to society but because their future was cloudy with a sense of creativity corporate leaders frown upon. Wavves' third studio album King Of The Beach is a book of various doodles that character seemed to have lost several years ago and happened to stumble across while tripping out in their bedroom.
The reason for such a description is because the release doesn't carelessly flirt with only one genre. King Of The Beach embraces its California heritage and instead of bathing in Sunny Delight-surfer stereotypes, it represents music that constructed the state. "When Will You Come" and "Baseball Cards" tie lo-fi doo-wop with Beach Boy undertones while "King Of The Beach" and "Super Soaker" drench you in punked-out verses skaters will devour all summer. The mix of fuzz and honesty swished around by producer Dennis Herring exemplifies frontman Williams obvious talent but also shines the streetlight on the late Jay Reatard's backing band that exemplify how much fun indie skate punk can be. // 9
Lyrics: "My toes are marble stones sinking in the sand / I'm stuck in the sky / I'm never coming down" effortlessly croons Williams on the laid-back basement-thumper "Linus Spacehead". Such dazed poetry seems like it came from the pen of one Jeff Spicoli, but that's what separates Williams from your lead indie songwriters. Instead of touching complex stories that puzzle your brain for days, the musician pens tunes that appear to simply describe his daily travels ("Convertable Balloon", "Green Eyes"), making it easy to digest and relate to while tapping a foot or whistling. The carefree wail may fuel critics to bash the group and their troubled past, but the vocals work as they came out that way, taking a page right out of a certain 90s' group that unearthed in Seattle. // 9
Overall Impression: Upon first listen, King Of The Beach comes across as an amateur record that was plastered with rough demos. Upon a second listen (and maybe a few more), its clear: its one of the most original albums to come out in years. Instead of being constricted by what's popular and flowing through the output of radio stations, Wavves new combination of tracks does its own thing and doesn't really care if you like it or not. Call it bold, even "douche-y", but such tactics have helped the group give birth to a record that gives you what your ears need: something infectious. // 9
- Joshua Khan (c) 2010