To any keen lover of challenging sounds, this album is worse than bad – it is dull.
Lou Thomas 2009
If the artist name and album title look immediately annoying (just count those Vs), be prepared for music which is even more uncompromising and abrasive.
For as one of the protagonists of the US alternative “s***gaze” scene (yes, really) Nathan Daniel Williams, aka Wavves, regularly creates a cheap, meaningless, trebly racket.
This in itself is not a problem: From Hendrix feedback to Atari Teenage Riot synth meltdown, noise in music can often be as hypnotising as exquisite melody. But to any keen lover of challenging sounds this second album is worse than bad - it is dull.
There are occasional moments of amusement, like on Sun Open My Eyes, when Williams sings like a man drinking toxic waste mouthwash or on No Hope Kids where he appears to be making a parody of every US underground rock band in existence at the same time.
Everything else is shockingly derivative. The screechy synth nonsense of Rainbow Everywhere is like something last year’s fad-favourite Crystal Castles would pass off as a B-side.
Beach Demon is a stereotypical Sonic Youth/Velvet Undergound/My Bloody valentine knock-off with an apt chorus. Williams just sings “going nowhere,” repeatedly.
Meanwhile, No Hope Kids is a frothier, tighter track than the rest and gleams in the dung heap if only because it sounds like Kim Deal and Billy Corgan kidnapping Ash and force-feeding them ice-poles.
There will be some who class Wavvves as a work of unparalleled majesty but most sentient listeners will just be sad that the recording equipment and time used by Williams wasn’t used by someone more deserving.