Sunday 19 November 2017

Music: King of the Beach by Wavves * * *

John Meagher

John Meagher

Last summer, Wavves become the most talked of band at Barcelona's Primavera festival when frontman Nathan Williams verbally abused his own drummer -- who walked off stage -- and then had a go at the crowd.

His meltdown -- fuelled, he claimed, by ecstasy and valium -- is on YouTube for your edification.

His outburst won't have surprised those unimpressed with Wavves' recorded music to date -- two albums hamstrung by Williams' inability to reign in his excesses and a maddening compulsion to self-destruct creatively.

This third album marks a considerable improvement on what has gone before, and the good stuff only serves to accentuate his lack of quality control. Much of the album may be highly derivative, but when he fine-tunes his slacker schtich, he's on to a winner. With the late Jay Reatard's old band in tow, there's a new-found reassurance too as he finds nuggets of gold when distilling aspects of The Beatles, Beach Boys and Pavement. Idiot, a brisk garage stomper, is a revelation, while When Will You Come? Displays a new found maturity to his songwriting.

What's not nearly as appealing is Green Eyes, which finds the singer repeatedly hollering "All my friends hate me and I don't give a shit." It's difficult to imagine anybody above the age of 16 finding much fun in that.

Regrettably, half a dozen tracks are similarly inane, although he seems to be aware of the fact: "I still hate my music," he rants on Take On the World. "It's all the same/ I hate myself, man."

Burn it: Idiot; When Will You Come?

Irish Independent

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