[sic] Magazine

Wavves – Wavves

‘Beachin’ Boredom’

This re-release of Wavves’s eponymous debut proves that San Diegan Nathan Williams’s follow-up was no one-off, as the pair are almost indistinguishable. Just as the economically titled and better-received Wavvves appeared a collection of b-sides, four-track knob-twiddling and rarities, so does the debut.

Both albums are distortion-heavy ensembles of super-slacker-indebted, lo-fi garage-rock with a dollop of bedroom electronica inserted haphazardly to boot. And although far from the sun-kissed harmonies of pop supremos the Beach Boys, their pop legacy manages to live in both records, albeit buried convincingly under mounds of pizza boxes and homemade bongs.

The debut lays down Williams’s Goth transfixion, first on the aimless ‘Intro Goth’ and then on the more purposeful ‘California Goth’ (the sophomore effort would go on to have five Goth-themed tracks). ‘Space Raider’ is as plainly irritating an experiment in instrumental glitchtronica as ‘Rainbow Everywhere’ would be on Wavvves, which its prettier reprise, ‘Spaced Raider’, goes a little way to offsetting. ‘Side Yr On’ however never fails to induce a headache, in a bad way, with its infinitesimal feedback noodling.

What Wavves ultimately lacks is a distinguishable highlight, such as the disenfranchised call-to-arms of ‘I’m So Bored’. In its place, all that remains is more-of-the-same unintelligible fuzz. All is not lost though, as at its best, Wavves hints at No Age’s listless noise but generally without the hooks, or Jay Reatard’s DIY pop punk but without the tunes.

At his worst however, Nathan Williams is sorely unlistenable. Whilst on-stage breakdowns blamed on alcohol addiction fulfill certain aspects of the ‘troubled artiste’ persona, it’s a wise idea to have the tunes to engender forgiveness. Williams may vehemently claim to be “so bored” on the follow up, but sorting the rare wheat from the often chaff on any future album should keep him well occupied.