"King of the Beach" by Wavves

Wavves
King of the Beach

Fat Possum Records
2010

Review

It's hardly surprising that Wavves and Best Coast are touring together. Though for sure Wavves is the opening band and Best Coast is the main event. That isn't to say that Wavves are a bad band or that the set they've provided on "King of the Beach" is a bad. Strictly speaking, if Best Coast are about lo-fi rock that takes its inspiration from surf-rock, Wavves are about lo-fi surf rock.

This band seems to me to be about Blink-182 inspired surf rock. This is actual surf rock...not like Best Coast that I think tries to transcend the Surf Rock label by - you know - not actually being about being at the beach.

With a name like Wavves and songs that mention that beach, you're pretty much labeling yourself right there (like naming your kid Geeves...he's gonna be a butler). Not bad for what it is though. It starts out very strong. "King of the Beach" sets the tone for what the band does well which is short, sweet, and fast rock surf-rock. "Super Soaker" is just more fun with faster strummy guitars and a nuevo-punk (post punk?) delivery and sense of style. It's harmless but it's also a lot of fun. When the songs are about the beach and surfing and shit like that as on "Idiot" (seriously, they say "shit" A LOT in that song...) the album is quite enjoyable. It's whenever they try to transcend their inspirations where things get shaky.

I did not particular care for "When Will You Come", or "Baseball Cards" mostly because these songs were really slow sort of meandering experiences that lacked the tongue in cheek feeling and self-deprecation of say, "Take On The World" where the band laments:

Well, they hate my writing it's all the same
When it drips like posture my head just hangs
And I hate myself man, but who is to blame?
I guess I'm just see through with the pains

Most of this is quick, fast, and fun and not really too accessible save for perhaps the last track on the album "Baby Say Goodbye". Anyhow, if surf-rock filtered through Blink-182 and The Strokes is something you'd be interested in, then give this one a look. Put it this way, I would get to the Best Coast/Wavves show early to catch Wavves.

3.750 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. King of the Beach (02:40) 4
2. Super Soaker (02:30) 5
3. Idiot (02:54) 5
4. When Will You Come (02:37) 2
5. Post Acid (02:12) 4
6. Take on the World (02:43) 5
7. Baseball Cards (03:06) 2
8. Convertible Balloon (02:26) 3
9. Green Eyes (03:51) 3
10. Mutant (02:29) 3
11. Linus Spacehead (03:13) 4
12. Baby Say Goodbye (05:13) 5
13. Stained Glass (Won't You Let Me Into Your Heart) (02:02)