I don’t have many regrets in life. Well… that’s not true, I have a conscience, and therefore some real regrets. But the only one I care to talk about today is the fact that I just discovered Wavves’ new album, “King of the Beach.” It was released back in August, and had completely flown under my radar until Dougie pointed out that I had left it off my Top Ten Albums of 2010.
After that, I got the album and gave it a good once over. I enjoyed it, but didn’t really give it a proper. Then, a few days ago, as I was looking for something new and failing to find something that really caught my ear, a voice in the back of my head suggested I give “King of the Beach” a good second over; really give it the same chance I gave the ten albums on my definitive list. So I did. And now I am here to officially edit said list. Wavves’ “King of the Beach” is my number 4 album of 2010, moving everything else below it down a spot, and knocking MGMT’s “Congratulations” completely off the list. Maybe they should have called it “Condolences.”
So why is Wavves the shit? Well let me explain: Wavves is the creation of San Diego native Nathan Williams. And after listening to the opening/title track, you could easily guess that this is a SoCal band. But not just any surf/skate rock band. As you get into the deeper tracks, it’s hard to not get the feeling that you are experiencing something special. It’s something of a revelation, an evolution of a well known sound. Williams signature is something new and exciting, yet familiar. It’s as if The Beach Boys and Green Day’s “Dookie” had a forbidden love child (I hate Green Day, I’m not gonna support, or promote them in any way, but “Dookie” was a decent album, and a good example for the point I’m making). There are plenty of “sha na na na nas” and the like. I usually don’t go for that, at all, but for some reason it works here. Actually it more than works; it wouldn’t work without it. And all through this, Wavves seems to kinda poke fun at the polished punk movement that it so clearly takes advantage of and defines. It’s a richly textured exploration of early 20′s boredom and an oblivious to his own genius, thought provoking record. And it’s more than just punk. The sound at times swerves head on in to electronica pop, but you never get the sense that it’s out of place. In fact, the song progression through the album is incredibly well thought out (or an incredibly brilliant accident). It plays out like a journey through Williams’ drug addled, trying to make sense of it all mind in 2-3 minute clips. And I couldn’t have enjoyed the ride more!