King of the Beach

Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
Buy On
  1. Shards of digital distortion and self-indulgent instrumentals are pretty much gone. What remains is a novel reworking of the California surf punk formula.
  2. 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.
  3. What Wavves has created here is a collection of gleaming pop gems, laced with self-hatred and a keen sense of rebellion.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. It's major-key and resplendently colored, owing as much to Orange County skate-punk as it does to the Beach Boys.
  7. The result is a 12-song collection of washed-out summer tunes perfect for beach outings and late-night house parties.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  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. He sounds like the dude from Blink-182 - just another suburban punk whining about this and that.
  15. 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.
  16. Mojo
    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]
  17. Alternative Press
    80
    The album is a devilishly fun listen when he's behaving liked a genius on the attack [Sep 2010, p.116]
  18. Prefix Magazine
    75
    The album's about being depressed, smoking weed, having fun, not understanding girls. You know, the moments that define any summer.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Dec 3, 2015
    8
    It's not perfect, but it's some of the best surf punk released in recent years. It's fuzzy, it's fast, it's loud, it's careless, and it's fun.It's not perfect, but it's some of the best surf punk released in recent years. It's fuzzy, it's fast, it's loud, it's careless, and it's fun. For a sloppy two-man band, Wavves has their act together to an impressive degree. Full Review »
  2. 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 »
  3. 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 »