Wavves- King Of The Beach Wavves- King Of The Beach

Wavves - King Of The Beach

Wavves - King Of The Beach

Whatever happened to the difficult second album? Recently musicians seem intent on defying low expectations by releasing follow ups that improve upon their formula significantly. Crystal Castles, Fuck Buttons, heck even LCD Soundsystem way back in 2007- all released second albums that took impressive artistic leaps forwards, yet somehow managed to bring everything that was right about their original sounds with them.  So it is with Wavves’ latest offering, King Of The Beach.

Comparisons to Canadian electro duo Crystal Castles are particularly fitting here. Not only are they an act that have settled down and focused on honing their craft recently, but they are also a band that have had their share of controversy. So too has Nathan Williams. Messy live shows, cancelled tours and straight up brawls- all have added to the belief that Nathan Williams was simply a snotty bedroom nerd capitalising on what was set to be a fleeting glimpse of indie success.

Williams’ has firmly turned Wavves back in the right direction. Whereas his debut s/t was impressive due to it’s noisy repetition and novelty, the songs on King Of The Beach are exactly that. Songs. It’s still noisy, the vocals still owe more to skater punk than indie starlets, but it sounds so much more complete. We can actually hear the vocals this time around, and refreshingly Nathan has found some guitar effects pedals other than heavy distortion.  King Of The Beach also wears it’s influences more much proudly on its sleeves, rather than an enigmatic reclusive teen who you suspected of listening to his parents Beach Boys records once in a while, we now have tangible influences to reference and which, when brought together as they are, create a much more fuller sound.

Cuts such as the joyful opener “King Of The Beach” demonstrate the kind of hooks Williams’ is about to unleash for the following 35 minutes, and is the kind of thing Weezer might have came out with before their current drought of hooks.  “Super Soaker” is simply fantastic; I’ve yet to hear a chorus as instantly catchy, they really are pockets of concentrated brilliance. “Idiot” not only provides a slamming punk number but also provides Williams’ a chance to tactfully address the haterz; “I’m not supposed to be a kid, but I’m an idiot/ I’d say I’m sorry, but it wouldn’t mean shit.”

It’s not all Blink 182 beach punk though. “When Will You Come” and “Baseball Cards” both prove to be slow burning poppy numbers, the former harking back to 50’s doo wop drum beats and the latter proving a touching teenage anthem, “Time takes it’s toll/ And where would I go?/We don’t know/Because I don’t wanna smoke outside/I don’t wanna walk outside without you.”

“Convertible Balloon” is pop catchiness taken to a new level, Williams’ full bag of tricks on display here, call and answer vocals, references to playing Nintendo, and psychedelic synths. All of which amounts to win, really.

There are plenty of other highlights, and as is telling, there’s not really many songs here that aren’t worthwhile. Nathan Williams has managed to defy the haters and most importantly, create a brilliant second album. Far from being an indie flash in the pan, Wavves has given us a second album of some genuinely brilliant songs. With King Of The Beach, the summer is here.

Wavves- King Of The Beach, reviewed by Lemon on 2010-07-21T13:00:19-07:00 rating 4.2 out of 5

2 Responses about “Wavves- King Of The Beach”

  • Ben says:

    It’s just seems like it’s a mockery of itself. I’m not sure this is going to be something anyone is listening to is 6 weeks let alone 6 months.
    I think the comparison to Blink 182 was pretty spot on… and I don’t mean that as a complement to either band, in any way.

  • mark says:

    but this is their 3RD album!
    they realeased two albums uunder the title of wavves before this