WAVVES S/T, 180G Black Vinyl LP
Wavves is the one-man noise-pop project of 22-year-old San Diegan Nathan Williams. Since his homemade cassettes and mpfree turbulence started damaging ears last year, Williams has become the focal point of what reads and feels like a maelstrom of chatter. Once something of a left-field mystery, the hype around him has built steadily throughout this young year. Now with drummer and a press photo, Williams has probably played about as many shows as he has songs to be heard. A spate of recent outings in New York a few weeks back had the scene in such a tizzy, The New York Times sent a dispatch to bear witness. And, just a few days later, to capitalize on the swell, his new label expedited the digital release of Wavvves , his second full-length in just four months.
Without delving too deeply into the muck of Williams' proper (and purely self-titled) debut LP, Wavves , it's worth noting that each of his twin long-players share more than just a menu of goths, weeeeeeed, demons, breakers, and vintage skate photography. While his second is the marginally less abrasive, more realized of the two efforts, both feature the same roach-encrusted punk pop. Be it in the opening power chords of "Beach Demon" or "To the Dregs", there's a couple of fried amps' worth of trusted guitar tropes and distortion-- tricks borrowed from the Wipers and Sonic Youth-- enveloping Williams' carbonated choruses. The vocal hooks themselves come fast, usually propelled by titanic drumbeats nicked from 1960s girl group music. It's not immediate--- and hardly the "pop" record that some have characterized it as-- but deep in the froth of highlight "No Hope Kids" lurks more than just a thick dose of teenaged ennui or even volume. There's thrilling evidence of compelling, thoughtful craftsmanship as well.
Wavves' no-fi bent has been compared to No Age's. But while those guys tend to reach far outside of their own feedback for spaces more expansive, Wavves' music feels more insular, self-contained, and unsettling. These aren't shouts from a house party, but from a solitary bedroom. And Wavvves ' outbursts are often tempered and sandwiched between clipped electronics (opener "Rainbow Everywhere" and "Goth Girls") or experimental noise ("Killer Punx, Scary Demons") that help congeal the album as a whole. -Pitchfork (Best New Music 8.1)