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Boomkat Product Review:
Of late, Wavves' Nathan Williams has been testing the old adage that there's no such thing as bad publicity to breaking point. Having been blasted by fellow noise-pop scenesters and tourmates Psychedelic Horseshit both in print and on T-shirts (bearing the slogan "Wavves Suxx") was one thing, but even in his own interviews Williams has been fairly self-damning. Village Voice recently asked Williams about a Beach Boys influence in his work, only to be met with the response: "Musically, ...the Beach Boys... I'm sorry, I don't understand the question. I'm really high right now." It shouldn't be too much of a surprise then that last week saw an almighty on-stage drug-fuelled meltdown at a Spanish festival. Since then, charges of 'too much too soon' have been levelled at the internet hype brokers who've propelled Wavves to instant stardom (the backlash has even extended to faux-Mexican tribute acts; check out the Juavves MySpace for an impressive reworking of single 'So Bored' as 'Muy Aburrido'), but this album should be the real benchmark by which we judge Williams and his cohorts. On the strength of Wavvves it would seem that clearly there is somewhat more to this guy's music than merely a copy of Garageband and a pile of weed, regardless of whatever the interviews and song titles (e.g. 'Weed Demon') might have you believe. The nuveau-grunge rawness of this music fuses with Pixies-influenced pop to hint at greater depths than all the casual self-sabotage might have suggested: 'So Bored' does have a certain anthemic quality to it, like an unintelligible anti-'Smells Like Teen Spirit' for its times. Similarly striking are 'Beach Demon' and 'No Hope Kids', both delivered with a hopeless indolence and faux-buffoonery that conspire to render Wavves' music as strangely in tune with our age. You might even go so far as to suggest that simultaneously this is a definitive rock album of its time AND a satire of that very fact. Even the song titles are suggestive of a certain archness, with the likes of 'Goth Girls'. 'California Goths', 'Summer Goth', 'Beach Goth' and 'Surf Goth' all cropping up over the expanse of the album, inducing chuckles a-plenty by merit of the sheer I'm-not-even-trying effrontery of it all.