Sunday, July 25, 2010

Best And Now I Don't Hate

Wanted to add a positive record review so I don't appear completely joyless to the world . . .

"King of the Beach" by Wavves

File this under follow-up done right, with this first album since the breakout success of "Wavvves" the band both evolves and expands their sound while staying true to the noise at the core of who they are. Rarely does a record title offer such a succinct mission statement for an album. With "King of the Beach" Wavves have moved from making music for drained-out swimming pools to music for beaches of the sort with parking meters right at the edge of the sand or the kind reached by descending concrete staircases.

Dipping into the record, even if you're listening to it as a bunch of mp3s, it just feels like you've put the needle down on something great. The record opens with its titular track, a song that begins with a burst of sudden noise that quickly transforms into an actual song, a song with distinguishable lyrics, a song you can sing along with, not just hum or mumble to — a daring step in a new direction for a band that has proven it can do murky but melodic noise right. The record stays the course from there on out, working comfortably within this new discipline and features for me, only one thing like a low point, the naggingly repetetive and spacey "Convertible Balloon." After eleven tracks, our day at the beach ends the record is sent out with the tide on the final track, the almost-ballad "Baby Say Goodbye"

One mildly music-nerdy thing I wanted to say: Wavves cop some of Phil Spector's most famous sounds—the drum beat from "Be My Baby" with their track "When Will You Come" and the rattling and rolling intro to "Da Doo Ron Ron" on "Green Eyes" (here the intro is repeated through the entire song, woven into a familiar but new background as effectively as the "D.A.N.C.E." sample from "On to the Next One.") The rip-offs are a fitting tribute from the creators of one wall of sound sound to the creator of The Wall of Sound sound . . . but the Be My Baby tribute can also be construed as a nod to Brian Wilson, the king of beach music, who plainly admitted that Be My Baby was the greatest pop record ever made and a source of a certain jealousy. Could this be a collection of stoner beach jams working on multiple levels? Might be, could be.


Side of Jeffrey said...

I've heard other great things about this album and plan to buy it for my trip to Hawaii in a few weeks - it just seems appropriate.

You promise you don't just like this album because it has a cat on the front?

Brigham said...

It's all that AND it has a cat on the front.

So, if you wonder, I'll also be recommending the Best Coast record for the same two reasons.

Side of Jeffrey said...

I noticed that the Best Coast album had a very similar cover, with equally good reviews.