Wavves is the musical project of San Diego, California-native Nathan Daniel Williams. And yes, the music Williams makes does reflect his SoCal upbringing, if only partly.
The solo musician’s sophomore album Wavvves follows in the same vein as the 2008 self-titled debut. I think it would be safe to assume the title for the subsequent third album.
Punk music has had a huge impact on Williams, and it is reflective in Wavves, especially with the pseudo-garage rock low-fi sound that’s permeated by some non-harsh noise rock.
It’s an interesting mixture, particularly since Williams seems to have eschewed modern technology for his old school analog beats despite the noise being more in the realm of electronica rather than industrial. The opening “Rainbow Everywhere” has sort of a cosmic techno feel that rides like a wave through space (unfortunately, pun intended). It helps set the stage for the rest of the LP, which constantly feels like both the music and you are moving forward.
Obviously, moving forward is relative. “Beach Demon” is up-tempo and fast, but gives you the whirlwind feeling that your head is spinning through either the fail of ice cream (brain freeze) or the absolute perfection of recreational drugs. There seemingly needs to be the perfect combination of beach, noise, and punk, which coincidentally is executed in the boardwalk-esque “To The Dregs” and the apathetic “No Hope Kids.”
Depression or dissidence runs rampant throughout Wavvves. Or it could be something else entirely as “So Bored” so succinctly suggests. But there’s definitely something that living in such an amazing climate so close to the ocean that affects you in such that carefree (or maybe careless too) living becomes so attractive. The norm just isn’t exciting or appealing.
The album’s highlight is “Weed Demon” that hits you hard as it glistens like the eye of the storm, interspersed through all of the haze and uncertainty. For southern California residents that just might mean the rare cloud, but nevertheless it’s enough to give you pause and possibly food for thought.