Wavves - King of the Beach
Nathan Williams, the artist known as Wavves, is a serious slacker.
His first album in 2008, which was just called Wavves, described his childhood lazing around with friends and had song titles like "So Bored" and "No Hope Kids".
It had a lot of distortion and a lo-fi style inspired by the early work of Beck, the artist who penned the 1990s slacker anthem, "Loser".
For a surf-pop debut it was pretty uncharacteristic, focusing heavily on garage rock and muffled lyrics.
King of the Beach, Wavves’s second outing, offers the same casual style,but instead of distorted songs there’s a more stripped-back arrangement with clearer guitars and strong drum beats.
It’s as though Wavves was too relaxed to worry with any post-recording touch-ups this time around. Whatever the slacker approach, though, King of the Beach is an impressive album.
The cleaner rock songs work to give the album a lighter feel that’s perfect for a summer soundtrack. Songs like "Super Soaker" and "Linus Spacehead" are short, punchy tracks that are extremely catchy.
As a whole the album deals with themes of being an idiot, growing up as an idiot and having to act as an adult, and surfing. There's not much about intellectual concepts or thought-provoking lyrics, but that’s exactly the point.
King of the Beach is a breezy album that’s best to listen to without thinking or worrying too much.
Wavves has achieved what many bands are at pains to create, a short and sharp album with summer-friendly pop songs - and you get the feeling Wavves didn’t spend too much time over-thinking it.
4 out of 5.