Wavves - V

by Hannah Strode

Wavves creator Nathan Williams and I both get called slackers and have a fear of the ocean, so I was on a certain level of affinity with him before I even began listening to his music. I mean, maybe my lecturers calling me a slacker in their heads and Spotify calling Nathan a slacker in a cool, edgy label kind of way is a bit different, and my fear of the ocean is slightly unfounded (go Google a sunfish and you’ll agree with me though), but I digress.

This album sounds like the soundtrack to a kooky 80s stoner film, complete with woe is me lyrics (“Everything sucks, if you don’t get your way”) and a young male thrashing and bashing his way through some hook chords. Plus screaming. There’s also screaming.

If Spotify have their facts right, then the entire reason Wavves’ music is so thrashy and loud is down to Williams being completely inept at Garage Band, uploading his songs to the internet anyway, and then music reviewers mistaking this for an edgy and cool new thing. Now, if that isn’t the most literal and ridiculous example of the hipster fad that is currently taking over the souls and bank accounts of college kids across the globe, then I don’t know what is. Teetering apparently precariously over the edge of the edge, Wavves seem to have created some kind of “air of cool” around themselves, which I can only assume is made up of the dust being secreted from their undoubtedly large and eclectic Urban Renewal sourced wardrobes.

Apparently this album was Williams’ first for Warner Bros. and he’s kind of mad about it. And you can tell. The vocals are at the same time punky and disinterested, the musicianship is a bit lacklustre and it overall pretty much feels like he thinks he’s got more important things to be doing. The early tracks are punchy and angry and short, which was effective but quickly became tiring. The fact that I was listening to similar riffs and whine in every track made it feel like they got longer even though they didn’t.

Overall, picking up a few tracks from V for a playlist is going to be fine, but this isn’t an enjoyable album to listen to in its entirety, and I feel like that’s pretty much the point. The album artwork is cool, but he’s not really telling me anything with his music. And as if that wasn’t enough, the use of roman numerals outside of the context of Ancient Rome isn’t edgy, it’s unnecessary.

I still agree with him on the ocean thing though. Freaky.