Friday, 13 December 2013


part 2 of my series of wavves reviews, enjoy

‘Wavvves’, 2009

Their follow-up album, the aptly-titled ‘Wavvves’ was released in February of 2009 on less obscure independent label Fat Possum after being signed. At this point their internet buzz earned them a few spots on 2009 SXSW music festival. By now, drummer Ryan Ulsh was recruited for live shows. Despite this, the recording of this ‘Wavves’ successor was still a strictly one-man process, and the method for doing so remained the same as the debut: same terrible equipment, same terrible production quality, albeit not as extreme as the debut, but still the same relentless, don’t-give-a-fuck aesthetic that both conveys an effortlessly cool image and captured the attention of the lo-fi scene only a few months prior. The album is considerably more popular than their debut, and home to some of the more memorable tracks of Wavves’ early career: songs like the nonchalant ‘So Bored’, ‘No Hope Kids’ and ‘To The Dregs’ are a staple for any Wavves fan. Being the debut’s spiritual successor, ‘Wavvves’ still features the same combo of simple pop punk-esque songs and thick layers of reverberated, heavily-modulated, scuzzy lo-fi saturation the debut exhibited. Lyrically, there is little change from the debut, sporting Nathan Williams’ endearingly juvenile hooks about the recurring themes of apathy, weed, boredom, the beach and loneliness, accompanied by Nathans signature harmonising whoops and hollers. I can’t help but feel a unique balance of both dreariness of tracks like the percussion-less, almost mystifying track ‘Weed Demon’ and ‘How Are You’, and sunny, energetic melodies and riffs combined with the comparatively melancholic and ever-so-vague nature of the lyrics. However, its DIY production does call to attention some of the issues the debut had in terms of its production; the lo-fidelity and overall intentionally shitty production can potentially take away from the content of the album’s songs upon prolonged listening. Although this case is not as bad as the debut, songs begin to blend into each a barely-distinguishable drone of rasping, cheap over-modulation, feedback and fuzz. That aside, ‘Wavvves’ is definitely overall a more “refined”, and I use this term loosely, spiritual successor to the debut, and despite the eventual draining of the merciless distortion and feedback, definitely one of my personal favourites. Raw, uncompromising and effortlessly cool.

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