Wavves – Wavvves


Wavves – Wavvves (Fat Possum Records; released March 17th, 2009)

I think my v-key must’ve gotten stuck typing that. Waves? No, the band is Wavves (two v’s) and the album is called Wavvves (three v’s); started as a bed-room project of a 22 year old San Diego noise-pop prodigy named Nathan Williams. It’s sunny and fuzzy- like a jug of tequila sunrises and a heady bong sesh buzz after a day in the waves. Aptly titled, aptly sounding, apt to the core.

The album visits all types of un-seemly ne’er-do-wells that lurk in and around the beaches of Williams‘ southern California- apparently he’s haunted by demons and goths, as well as the themes of “going nowhere”, aided by lots of “weed” and “no hope kids”, let’s not forget “girls”, “guns” and “sun”.  Recipe for disaster?

Take Gun In The Sun, there are so many layers of fuzz in the mix, the vocals, guitar and bass are all like one instrument- it should spell disaster and sound like an aural mess, yet it’s so fun to listen to- like Frankie and Annette on really bad acid freaking out because of the pattern on their beach blanket. And there’s So Bored, the “single” to the album (which basically means, “most accessible” song on the record) probably because there’s a discernible melody and the lyrics are higher in the mix, but the patented sheets of fuzz are firmly laid down over the drums.

Weed Demon has gorgeous vocal harmonies, it sounds like Dennis Wilson singing over a Kurt Cobain throw-away rhythm track for In Utero; then barrels headlong into the next track California Goths. The whole wrangling, fuzzed-out garage/surf rock thing is working very nicely here- this album is definitely worthy of the piles of praise being heaped upon it.

There are two ways to take this record: it’s at time messy and murky; others it’s clean and only slightly distorted. It’s mature, no wait; it’s ridiculously infantile. It shows promise but it lacks refinement. It’s ripping off the past and at the same time it’s ushering in a new wave of noise pop. I’m playing devil’s advocate with a lot of these suppositions- it’s really up to you to decide what you want the album to be. I wanted it to be the album that blows the cover off of the whole “idyllic, So Cal, fun-in-the-sun” picture that people have, and the record totally does that for me. Exposing creepy secret subcultures, clouded in esoterica- that’s why this album is immensely entertaining; it’s also infinitely interesting because there’s so much music hidden in all those layers of fuzz- the more you listen, the more you discover.

It’s kind of like The Lost Boys. There are fanged goth children under your boardwalks, thirsting for blood, San Diego. Watch your children, lock your doors, and continue to vote Republican. You can’t be saved from the Wavves


  1. Rainbow Everywhere
  2. Beach Demon
  3. To The Dregs
  4. Sun Opens My Eyes
  5. Gun In The Sun
  6. So Bored
  7. Goth Girls
  8. No Hope Kids
  9. Weed Demon
  10. California Goths
  11. Summer Goth
  12. Beach Goth
  13. Killr Punx, Scary Demons
  14. Surf Goth