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Album Review: Wavves - King of the Beach
by Kevin Seehousz

There are two types of people: those who love Nathan Williams and the music he makes under the moniker Wavves, and those who hate his guts. The past has not been too kind to the San Diego native, but it seems the negative vibes have only encouraged his growth as a musician.

Now a solid three-piece band, Wavves has been joined by former Jay Reatard band members Billy Hayes and Stephen Pope. The sound of the band has changed immensely from Williams' days recording ultra-fuzzed-out songs in his bedroom. Where Wavves and Wavvves are albums featuring layers upon layers of noise and feedback, King Of The Beach takes a brighter turn towards a catchy blend of surf pop and garage punk.

The album starts off with the title-track, an upbeat number in which Williams sets it straight: "You're never gonna stop me, you're never gonna stop king of the beach." Maybe this is his way of telling the haters out there that Wavves is around to stay? Maybe this is a sarcastic shot at his peers. While the tunes are upbeat and undoubtedly catchy, the lyrics vary in color from song to song. The words of boredom and awkward youth spill over from the past albums while some of the songs show a certain optimism. The most anthemic of these lyrics can be found in "Post Acid" with "Misery, will you comfort me? In my time of need, would you understand?"

You'll notice a '60s Cali Beach Boys sort of vibe throughout this one. The "oohs" and "aahs" will have you singing along, uncontrollably, to each song. Check out "Mickey Mouse" if you don't believe me. It seems that Wavves' true influences and craftsmanship are shining through in King Of The Beach instead of drowning somewhere in an ocean of fuzz.