Wavves – King of the Beach, Album Review

342343kingofthebeach
Need more awesome? Listen to our FAVORITE SONGS OF 2014. Make sure you don't miss any tunes: FOLLOW US ON TWITTER.

Giveaway: Kind of the Beach on Vinyl LP and CD →
Wavves   King of the Beach, Album Review STREET DATE: 08.03.10 | EMUSIC | INSOUND | AMAZON | ITUNES

RATE KING OF THE BEACH
[STARRATER]

I used to hate Wavves. I didn’t hear anything worth tuning in for from Nathan Williams’ first two releases – the self-titled Wavves and nearly self-titled Wavvves – and my plan was to continue not caring about his overhyped noise for the next few years, letting Wavves slip away into the fog of oblivion and self-interest. Some of that original distaste still remains today – Williams has been enough of a trainwreck to convince me not to give a damn about him, personally. Musically, though, disinterest is no longer possible.

Because King of the Beach is a massive step forward that is impossible to ignore. It’s brash where its predecessors were abrasive, an energetic album that is more about celebrating the ability to piss of the world than actually doing it. Where Wavves and Wavvves slogged under layers of distortion and poorly mixed instrumentation, King of the Beach swims through echoing vocals and downright peppy guitars. Williams hasn’t lost his edge; these songs still have a ballsy jangle that separates them from the beach bum chillwave scene. They’re just listenable for a change.

Williams and Wavves owe much of this positive change to a new supporting cast – Stephen Pope and Billy Hayes, formerly members of Jay Reatard’s backing band, joined up on bass and drums for King of the Beach. The duo bring a directed backbone to Williams’ songs, turning wandering muck into songs with a purpose, even if that purpose is to hang out and feel bad about yourself. And that, largely, seems to be the purpose of the album. Williams alternatively wallows in self-pity and stands as the album’s titular King of the Beach. On “Take on the World,” Williams confesses, “I hate my writing…and I hate myself, man”; on “King of the Beach” he cockily maintains, “You’re never gonna stop me”; on “Green Eyes,” he laments (or is it celebrates?) the fact that his friends hate his guts.

The schizophrenic confusion is apt. Wavves has transitioned from no-fidelity to sunny, punky pop, and I’m sure Williams – along with his listeners – doesn’t know what happens next. I’m not sure what’s to come either, since Wavves doesn’t seem like the type of band to stay still for too long. Whether Williams retreats from the sun into his garage or stays long enough to get a tan remains to be seen – the only difference is that now a bunch more people will care. Words by Chris Barth.

83 — [Rating Scale]

Giveaway
To enter to win a copy of King of the Beach on vinyl and CD, leave a comment with your thoughts on the album, rate the album and “like” PMA’s Facebook Page. Share this review on Facebook, or retweet it here. A winner will be picked at random on August 24th.

What did you think?
 0  0  0  0
Chromeo
Stream

Chromeo have been generous with offerings from their upcoming White Women: this here’s our fifth taste,…

READ MORE
Lido Disclosure
MP3

We’ll admit that Disclosure and Sam Smith’s “Latch” has been remixed by every DJ in…

READ MORE
Cut Copy
Music

Cut Copy are following up their criminally underrated 2013 LP, Free Your Mind, with a…

READ MORE
The Horrors Luminous
Videos

The Horrors share a new video for “So Now You Know”, taken from their forthcoming…

READ MORE
Tracking
Feature

New favorites from Disclosure & Friend Within, How To Dress Well, Twin Shaodw, tUnE-yArDs, SZA, Kyla La Grange, Parquet Courts, Allie X and Todd Terje.

READ MORE
Lykke Li
Music

As we creep closer to the May 6 release of her new album, I Never…

READ MORE
Kelis Food
Reviews

Kelis’ sixth and finest LP is not the gastronomic concept album suggested by its title. Food is instead a feast of sweaty funk grooves and impeccable soul melodies, consistently satisfying and often fabulous.

READ MORE
jay z
News

Jay Z, the third richest rapper of all time, has announced that his very successful…

READ MORE
Lykke Li I Never Learn
Remixes

Love Lykke Li but have found her new material a bit dreary and sullen? Then…

READ MORE