‘My head huuurts’ and ‘everything sucks if you don’t get your way’ make up some of the moody hooks on this new album from San Diego rock band Wavves. If it weren’t for the ridiculously bouncy instrumentals, I’d think frontman Nathan Williams was a right sourpuss. Instead the unfittingly upbeat surf rock guitars turn the whole thing into a fun downer mockery – a woe-is-me album that seems to rejoice all of Nathan’s grumbles.
Admittedly, there isn’t much to distinguish one song from the next –the majority of the tracklist melding into a blur of stroppy exclamations and twangy riffs. Only the track ‘Pony’ delivers both a memorable melody and message - a breezy breakup anthem that pokes fun of fake optimism with the line ‘It gets better’, whilst simultaneously seeming to embrace that sentiment.
Overly-polished production remains the only the other issue. Wavves have come a long way since the sloppy, lo-fi fuzz of their debut (which sounded like it had been recorded with a potato), and whilst I do like the tight groove that Wavves’ newly-found shiny production brings, some of it also makes these songs feel a bit stiff. More moments such as the crackly effects found on ‘Leadhead’ could have countered this.