Wavves' "V": First Thoughts

  /  10.14.2015

In an attempt to boil the colorful tenure of Nathan Williams’ Wavves down to a solitary word, I’m going with: “Careless.”

Before your panties get all bunchy tight, let me explain. Williams’ aggressive nonchalance is part of his charm. The guy who’s all “cool, whatever, I don’t care” (his recent Reddit AMA is the epitome of this stance with Williams answering most questions with a few words, or simply a “lol”) but he still produces an impactful output with breezy ease. His effortlessly cool persona is majorly evident on Wavves’ fifth studio album, V (the band’s second major label effort).

Williams and crew freely, carelessly throw caution to the wind and let voice, guitars, drums, etc., reach peak Wavves: consistently dissonant, surfy beats, and catchy riffs that are tied together with the M.O. of caring to not care. That essence is best expressed on “All the Same” (“I’m more insane each day, but I’ll be OK…”) and “Pony” (“It gets better. It better.”).

The #samesies nature of the 31-minute V is a blessing for first time listeners, but perhaps not for long-term fans of the band. Most tracks on the album range from the mid-70s to 80s BPM, so for first time listeners, you could essentially Rolodex-flip through, land on any song and have a carelessly good time, uncertain of which cut you’ve hit. The unique Wavves sound shines through, however, when a punky tempo breaks out on “My Head Hurts.”

I don’t ever want Nathan to stop “not caring.” I just wish this album was released back when I was an angsty and careless sub-30-something who didn’t care. I’m old. Whatever, it’s cool, I don’t care.

Essential tracks: album opener “Heavy Metal Detox,” the charismatic back-and-forths on “Flamezsz” and my current anthem “My Head Hurts.”


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