Album Review: Wavves – King of the Beach

Wavves – King of the Beach
Fat Possum: 2010

I mean, like, you know, who cares really, you know? That is the attitude you need to incorporate before giving King of the Beach a spin. You are a lethargic high school deadbeat who has resorted to “jamming out” with a cheese-flavored cornmeal snack in his mom’s pool house for the rest of his sluggish existence. You are an experienced paper boy from Oceanside who spends most of his income on cannabis and VHS cassettes of old kung fu films. There is a cat smoking a blunt on the album cover. If that is not enough of a hint to give your brain some alone time, rest assured the first five seconds of the record will be a much needed slap in the face.

Nathan Williams — love him or hate him — should be commended for his instinctive songwriting on King of the Beach. Simple, sharp melodies of loneliness, boredom, and naive love composed straight from the gut. “And I hate myself man, but who’s to blame? I guess I’m just fucked up, or too insane,” Nathan confesses in the self-conscious heavy hitter “Take On The World”. This album is an outpour of youthful energy and boyish expression. While far from thought-provoking, it is surely the most thought Nathan has put into his songwriting, and as a result, the most effective his lyrics have ever been.

On top of the improved songwriting, King of the Beach’s diversity separates it from the one-dimensional debut and sophomore Wavves releases. The band’s new clean sound, which may vex the Lo-Fi fanatics, is responsible for the branch-out effect, preserving the sweetness for this quick listen. “Baseball Cards” and “Mickey Mouse” are refreshing additions to the record, with striking influence from Animal Collective’s Avey Tare. These tracks are interesting curve balls, favoring the drum machine rather than the relentless, ballsy guitar vibe you’ll be receiving from everything else.

You won’t need a cocktail of ecstasy and Valium for this record to knock you out. You’ll be in the clouds by the second track, “Super Soaker”. Nathan Williams has taken extreme care in making a fantastic album that just doesn’t give a shit. Exile your brain and crank King of the Beach to eleven. You could use a break.

4 out of 5

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  1. I agree with this review. One of the best albums of the year so far.

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