Review of King of the Beach Album by Wavves

Wavves have always sounded like summer. They sound like open windows, sunburn and light nights, but until now I couldn't help but think that Wavves hid some of their songwriting skill behind a needless and overbearing wall of high end fuzz that did nothing but annoy the listener.

Wavves King of the Beach Album

So, LP number 3 from this one/two/four piece (depending on the day of the week, it seems) is a pleasant surprise. The mix has been cleared up (Which I'm certain will annoy a certain amount of their fans), and the songwriting seems to have progressed in leaps and bounds as well. "when Will You Come?" is essentially the essence of bliss trapped in audio waves, while tracks like "Idiot" channel the best So-Cal pop punk from the last twenty or so years - It sounds almost exactly how I'd imagine the Beach Boys would have sounded had they been brought up on the Descendents and the Buzzcocks and jammed with Nirvana, and that ain't a bad thing in any way.

And despite its inherent cheeriness, this is a punk album before it's anything else. The production, while more listenable than previously, is still gleefully slapdash, and vocals quite often don't reach the notes that you (and traditional music theory) would suggest are the right ones, and guitars buzz and wail as they feel like it; but this does nothing but add to the album's charm and childlike sense of fun, something that it emanates through every single second of every song.

If there's one complaint that can be made about the album, it's that it can be a little bit samey: There's two types of songs, slow ones and fast ones. The slow ones lilt like kittens hanging onto dandelion clocks that blow in the wind, while the fast ones blitz along like a sandpaper slap to the face. There's nothing wrong with that, per say, but it's something you'll be aware with as you go through the album and start to wonder whether you've heard this track before.

Altogether though, the album is a well put together slab of noisy pop-punk 'n' roll: Something to stick on in the car and forget you're stuck in a rainy bank holiday traffic jam with, or something to just jam on loudly and sing along to with the sun on your back.

Heartily recommended; A tasty slab of guitars and happiness that'll keep you smiling for weeks.

Chris Spann


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