Album Review

Wavves "King of the Beach"

Aaron George
Ahhh, angst, how I have missed thee. While the general uncomfortableness of youth is often little more than annoying when put to music, sometimes it works very well. I suppose there will always be a part of me that can sympathise with the first world “problems” that face suburban American youth, such as apathy and social awkwardness. One of the more recent albums to sing in this tune is King of the Beach by San Diego’s Wavves.

At their most upbeat, the songs on King of the Beach could be compared to the likes of Screeching Weasel or Violent Femmes, with their fast, pop-punkish rhythms and nasally, slightly whiny vocals that are centered largely on self loathing and not caring about things in general. Add to this a layer of fuzz that is so popular with the kids these days, and even a dash of electronica, the result is a surprisingly fun album that puts something of a fresh twist on things well worn.

Admittedly I am a bit late to the Wavves party, King of the Beach was my introduction to the band, but it is actually their third release since 2008. How this album stacks up against their earlier work is something I can’t say anything about, but I know if they keep this sort of thing up they should be a good group to keep an eye on.

Instead of listing the better songs on the album, I’m just going to say that the only songs that might be a bit out of place are “When will you come” with its down-tempo, near shoegaze feel, and maybe “Convertible Balloon”...but honestly most albums have at least one odd ball like this song, which sounds like it was kept in the track list for some reason other than it being actually pleasurable to listen to. Other than that, all systems are go.