Wavves – Wavvves

March 17, 2009

wavvvesI imagine a good joke to play on an audiophile friend would be to play the new album by Wavves, which has deliberate distortion throughout, and say, “Well, it plays perfectly on my system.” Wavvves is the follow up to the self-titled debut album by Wavves aka Nathan Williams, a San Diego based one man band (at least on his recordings to date) who combines surf punk with noise rock. Underneath the buzz and the drone, you’ll hear Williams’ knack for a catchy pop melody or a good guitar or synthesizer riff, the result sounding as if the Beach Boys had joined forces with Dick Dale and proceeded to drop the brown acid together. Sonically, Wavvves challenges listener notions of what good music sounds like, but the static and the noise are just another musical layer, like listening to someone’s tantalizingly good songs on a radio station left of the dial, with permanently poor reception. If Williams hadn’t put anything worthwhile for listeners to find underneath all that noise and distortion, Wavvves wouldn’t work, but he has, and the album does. Standout cuts: “Beach Demon,” “To The Dregs,” “So Bored” and “Weed Demon.”