|Wavves — You’re Welcome (May 12th 2017)|
Wavves — You’re Welcome (May 12th 2017)
Ξ★ “Proof that these slacker surfer punks are still king of the beach.” (Carley Hall)
Ξ★ “You’re Welcome displays the benefits and pitfalls of emerging from beneath a lo~fi blanket of noise.”
Formed: 2008 in San Diego, CA
Location: San Diego, California
Album release: May 12th 2017
Record Label: Ghost Ramp / Intertia / Warner Bros.
01 Daisy 2:32
02 You’re Welcome 3:01
03 No Shade 1:47
04 Million Enemies 4:00
05 Hollowed Out 2:51
06 Come to the Valley 2:57
07 Animal 2:44
08 Stupid in Love 2:59
09 Exercise 2:24
10 Under 2:31
11 Dreams of Grandeur 4:10
12 I Love You 3:44
Carley Hall, Score: ★★★★
Ξ★ San Diego scallywags Wavves have been riding the highs of that surf punk sound for nearly a decade now – and why change a good thing?
Ξ★ Far from meandering off on creative tangents to “mature” their sunny indie pop in that time, the four~piece have kept a steady hand on the rudder and let that playful streak work its magic throughout their catalogue of short and long plays.
Ξ★ Flirting with the major labels almost killed their vibe a few albums ago on Afraid of Heights and V, but after parting ways, the band has pulled off one of their best releases to date, fusing those old slacker sentiments with bright, noisy, brash but polished production.
Ξ★ Nathan Williams’ voice is the glue for this slight deviation into fresh territory, tracing the hazy guitar line in rampant opener Daisy, then following the crisp drum beat in “Million Enemies” with his usual deadpan drawl. His oft~relied on subject matter — getting loose and bagging the system — still run riot, but sentiments of the heart make a welcome appearance in “Stupid in Love” and “I Love You”. It’s these little tweaks to the Wavves sound that make You’re Welcome their standout, and proof that these slacker surfer punks are still king of the beach. — themusic.com.au
Ξ★ O minulém albu “V” jsem napsal: “Syrový, pořád ne brutální prostředek proti zívání už od úvodní Heavy Metal Detox. Way Too Much se neliší rytmem, pojetím však přechází do ‘60 k Hollies, Bread nebo Tremeloes. Tomu odpovídá timing písní, a s cílem trochu ozvláštnit celkový sound, pojetí, výsledek, vpíchnou do aranží aeroinjekci zvuků neznámého původu. Třetí Pony je v tomto koloběhu ještě brutálnější, teď už jde o špinavý, abrazivní pop na pouti k výběhu plameňáků v ZOO Prague. K pití a lehké konverzaci ideální album. All The Same jakbysmet pod koberec... Žeby návrat k mucholapce? Kluci, děláte si ze mne legraci? Na to vám neskočím.”
BY JEREMY WINOGRAD, MAY 9, 2017 / SCORE: ★★★
Ξ★ Unlike many of his fellow bedroom guitarists who started out recording at home, Nathan Williams clearly recognizes that “lo~fi” is an aesthetic best explored by necessity rather than by choice. Guided By Voices, Pavement, and other lo~fi pioneers would have made well~produced studio albums early on in their careers if they could have afforded it, as evidenced by the fact that they did just that once they could. Williams just took Wavves’s stoner surf punk in that direction more quickly, and on the band’s sixth album, You’re Welcome, he still encounters the benefits and pitfalls of emerging from beneath the lo~fi blanket of noise that initially distinguished Wavves.
Ξ★ While the band’s sonic palette has become immeasurably more sophisticated, You’re Welcome indicates that Williams only follows suit with his melodies about half the time. There was an inherently intriguing incongruity between his Brian Wilson-inspired melodies and the unfathomable level of DIY grime with which he rendered them on the first couple of (self~recorded) Wavves albums. Absent that tension, Williams’s melodies must be judged by their own ingenuity, and on that count, the ones on You’re Welcome, especially those in its back half, too often fall short of the mark.
Ξ★ You’re Welcome displays the benefits and pitfalls of emerging from beneath a lo~fi blanket of noise.
Ξ★ Granted, laidback, beachy vibes crossed with aggressive punk tempos — driven primarily by Stephen Pope and Brian Hill’s thunderous rhythm section — still make for an interesting dichotomy, especially on “No Shade,” which playfully combines angry punk riffing with lyrics of Zen~like simplicity about sitting by the pool and sipping lemonade. But it doesn’t land so well when the hooks are as cloying and repetitive as they sometimes get here. As a result, even on a track like “Exercise,” which finds Williams railing, “I can’t believe the shit they feed to us/They’re lying to our face,” over growling guitars, the band comes off about as threatening as a mildly agitated kitten. On “Come to the Valley,” they don’t even begin to attempt to disguise the cutesiness of a melody that suggests “Be True to Your School” as a nursery rhyme. The closing Grease~esque ballad “I Love You” at least possesses the necessary sweeping romanticism to sell its inherent corniness, but it’s played so straight, and the lyrics are so pat and obvious, that there’s nothing novel about it.
Ξ★ What’s frustrating about these lapses is that the album’s first five tracks demonstrate that Williams is more than capable of shaping more mature~sounding songs to match the enhanced production values he now enjoys. Even at his slickest, on the opener “Daisy,” which veers very close to commercial pop~punk, he proves capable of testing boundaries with a wobbly high~pitched guitar riff and an unusual chord sequence during the verses. Similarly, the thumping title track and the psychedelia~tinged “Hollowed Out” are practically menacing, at least when compared to the songs on the album’s second half, without dimming Williams’s penchant for earworm choruses. Indeed, both songs will likely get stuck in your head almost immediately, but unlike “Come to the Valley,” you’ll actually want them there.
Ξ★ The greatest triumph here is “Million Enemies.” Anchored by Pope’s throbbing bassline, Williams stacks one meaty hook on top of another, introducing a different melodic shade with each, whereas elsewhere on You’re Welcome he’s content to run a single obnoxious chorus into the ground. But even beyond the song’s compositional merits, it’s easy to read it as a personal rallying cry for Williams against fans and critics who’ve criticized him for cleaning up both his sound and sometimes controversial behavior. He even goes so far as to draw direct attention to the often formulaic nature of his songwriting (the second verse begins, rather descriptively: “Another identical verse”). Williams doesn’t seem very perturbed though: “I got enemies, a million enemies/But baby, I am feeling fine.” While the songs that follow don’t fully justify such a level of confidence, for four minutes at least, he earns his swagger.
Ξ★ Wavves 2008
Ξ★ Wavvves 2009
Ξ★ King of the Beach 2010
Ξ★ Afraid of Heights March 26, 2013
Ξ★ No Life for Me 2015
Ξ★ V October 2, 2015
Ξ★ You’re Welcome (May 12th 2017)
|Wavves — You’re Welcome (May 12th 2017)|