Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. The album is saturated with high poly-harmonies, finger-snaps and hand claps, but the Charles Atlas-invoking title communicates Wavves' real agenda--"nyah-nyah" pop sucker-punches, sunny smiles so forced they come off as sneers, intense self-deprecation as psychic body armor.
  2. If the career plan was to go to the lowest of lows before releasing an album of resurrection and real substance, he ought to be applauded for conducting the whole stunt to perfection.
  3. Even though King Of The Beach marks a dramatic step forward in Williams' abilities as a songwriter, he's still the same lonely dude that can't keep his friends, can't get a girl, and can't catch a break. Except it seems like maybe this time he finally has.
  4. The result is a 12-song collection of washed-out summer tunes perfect for beach outings and late-night house parties.
  5. It's major-key and resplendently colored, owing as much to Orange County skate-punk as it does to the Beach Boys.
  6. King Of The Beach benefits from a timely team-up with Jay Reatard's former rhythm section and scrubbed-down vocals courtesy of Modest Mouse producer Dennis Herring, who provided just the push into the deep end that Nathan Williams needed.
  7. Featuring two members of the late great Jay Reatard's band--the towering garage rawk that defined his sound is tangible with Wavves too but here left to bathe in the sun and taken for a quick dip in the ocean.
  8. Wavves sometimes gets carried away--"Neon Balloon" and its sea of synth gurgles and helium vocals is near silly--but when Williams finds his stride and carves the tube of punky psych sonics, the results are totally awesome.
  9. The album is a devilishly fun listen when he's behaving liked a genius on the attack [Sep 2010, p.116]
  10. 80
    King of the Beach's specialty is Warped Tour–ready choruses, charred with noise and peppered with lyrics from a self-hating surfer teen who sees sunburn as spiritual penance for being a burnout.
  11. What Wavves has created here is a collection of gleaming pop gems, laced with self-hatred and a keen sense of rebellion.
  12. Shards of digital distortion and self-indulgent instrumentals are pretty much gone. What remains is a novel reworking of the California surf punk formula.
  13. King of the Beach has a few decent approximations of beloved styles. Perversely, they don't seem like breakthroughs--they make his old songs seem less special.
  14. 80
    This latest sheds much of the lo-fi fuzz and spur-of-the-moment sloppiness that characterises previous records, allowing the myriad hooks and melodies to stand out bolder, brighter and all the more pleasing. [Sep 2010, p.106]
  15. The album's about being depressed, smoking weed, having fun, not understanding girls. You know, the moments that define any summer.
  16. On the third Wavves full-length, a one-man bedroom experiment blossoms into a real band, with Jay Reatard's feisty backing duo and Modest Mouse's producer beefing up low-fi strumming, smiling melodies and zonked studio whimsy.
  17. King of the Beach offers a fascinating insight into the slightly skew-whiff mind of this talented young artist, now well on the way to mastering what could turn out to be an incredibly inventive career.
  18. He sounds like the dude from Blink-182 - just another suburban punk whining about this and that.
  19. One knock-on effect of going professional is that you can now hear the music clearly and properly, and it turns out that Mr. Williams isn't exactly a Mozart in the songwriting stakes.
  20. 60
    Half of these tracks are superfluous, but the other half are mixtape gold. [Sep 2010, p.108]
  21. Williams's record is brisk, clocking in under 40 minutes. But it takes far more risks, dabbling in Animal Collective–ish psych pastiche on "Baseball Cards," Kurt Fauxbain dummy posturing on the riotous "Idiot," and Phil Spector homage not once but twice-on the magical "Da Doo Run Run"–lifting "Mickey Mouse" and, less impressively, with a rip of the "Be My Baby" beat on "When Will You Come."
  22. Perhaps another period spent in oblivion is just what Williams needs to figure out his next move, or rather, his next image.
  23. King of the Beach isn't the work of a seven-stone weakling getting sand kicked in his face; it's supple and muscular garage-pop.
  24. After the monochromatic haze of his first few efforts, Williams flirts with nuance here, writing songs that go beyond three chords and a cloud of fuzz box dust. [Summer 2010, p.81]
  25. Despite this concession to orthodoxy [recording in a real music studio], King Of The Beach retains much of his summery charm, the sun-kissed pop-punk choruses concealing lyrics seething with self-loathing, alongside slices of blissed-out pop in style of labelmates Beach House. [Sep 2010, p.123]
  26. As a comeback album following one of the decade's most memorable flameouts, it reaches all expectations adequately. But considering the late musician you're obviously modeled after (and more disappointingly, the Hella-inspired track to which this album seems to forget ever existed), King of the Beach feels more like an expertly timed marketing ploy.
  27. Listeners looking for a long-term relationship are advised to look elsewhere or lower their expectations for love.
  28. The problem here being that the clean production values are themselves another veil masking Williams' fundamental badness--and so this album becomes, like its predecessors, an exercise in misdirection and deceit.
  29. A performer like Williams has a lot to lose by releasing what is, by and large, an accessible pop-rock album.
  30. Dec 20, 2010
    40
    It's half-baked as well, never distinguishing itself from other rock & roll throwbacks.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Sep 1, 2013
    7
    Bit of a throw-away album, not exactly disposable but only a few riffs and hooks stick in the mind. Incredibly fun and confident but Wavves'Bit of a throw-away album, not exactly disposable but only a few riffs and hooks stick in the mind. Incredibly fun and confident but Wavves' potential has not been maxed out yet. Full Review »
  2. Jan 29, 2013
    10
    This is one of my favorite albums of all time. There isn't a lot of music like this, and that's why I love it. Wavves nearly perfected thisThis is one of my favorite albums of all time. There isn't a lot of music like this, and that's why I love it. Wavves nearly perfected this albums, with its different sounds and feelings. Indie meets punk meets surf rock meets lo-fi. My favorite tracks are "green eyes," "Linus Spacehead," and "take on the world." 2 thumbs up from me Full Review »
  3. Mar 12, 2012
    7
    Simply put, this is a fun listen. The summery surf punk vibes, heart on your sleeve lyrics and catchy hooks add up to make a simple,Simply put, this is a fun listen. The summery surf punk vibes, heart on your sleeve lyrics and catchy hooks add up to make a simple, good-natured album but lacks the depth of a great release. Full Review »