By Andrew Hunter
“Afraid Of Heights”
Mom + Pop
I’m kinda breaking a rule by reviewing an album that wasn’t out in the last year. But I really wanted to write about Wavves. I first heard Wavves when I came across the album King Of The Beach that had a more surf rock vibe, and one of the finest album covers ever. But with Afraid Of Heights Wavves move in a different direction, lyrically it seems to be a slightly more serious, darker record, especially with the single ‘Demon To Lean On’ it’s really different to anything on King Of The Beach. The album deals with feeling a bit alienated, not really being understood, death, being a bit insecure and self deprecating, which works well on a alt rock record.
You may think you’ve never heard of Wavves but hold on there hotshot, I put it to you you’ve stole a car, got chased by the cops, and probably killed a prostitute while listening to Wavves. No you didn’t blackout again … their music has appeared in Saints Row with ‘Idiot’ and Grand Theft Auto with ‘Nine is God’. They even hosted a radio station in the game, I think it was Vinewood Boulevard Radio (I replayed GTA as research to find that out)… But getting back to actually writing about the album, it was just one of the best things I heard in 2013. Nathan Williams’ lyrics and the sound of the band made me think of 90s, Weezer, Pixies, Nirvana, … I know that’s a pretty bold statement, but Wavves pay a little bit of homage to the early 90s with fuzzy guitars and catchy choruses, and loathing of humanity, themselves, and well everything. Wavves aren’t just being a 90s rip off, they draw on references sure, but they have their own spacious sound that you can feel yourself getting lost in on tracks like ‘I can’t Dream’ it has so many layers and shows Wavves can slow things down. ‘Dog’ with Williams singing “Still I’ll be your dog” cant help me think of The Stooges, but I’m not like “whoa you can’t say dog in a song that’s just for Iggy” …you can, it will just make anyone who has ever heard The Stooges question it, but the song just works, it has a glockenspiel and strings so don’t question it! The lyrics have such a paranoia (there is a song called Paranoid) and self loathing, but with such pop undertones on ‘Lunge Forward’ “none of you will ever understand me, none of you will ever understand” sings Williams on one of the poppyiest songs on the record with such negative lyrics attached. Wavves can even write a slowed down number with “Everything is My Fault”. While ‘That’s On Me’ is the biggest Nirvana like anthem on the record, Williams shouts “Soon it's over, you’ll regret your whole life” by the end of this album the lyrics may make you regret your life but this album has such an upbeat/slacker inflection that you will cheer up pretty quickly, cause you won’t feel like it’s just you anymore.