Wavvves - Wavves
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. His ability to pump out the music is admirable, now he just needs a filter to sift the crap from the gold. If he hones in on his vision, there's spectacular potential. Until then, we'll have to take the bad with the good or self-compile a "greatest-hits of Wavves 2008/2009" mix tape.
  2. There’s an energy coursing through this, and records like this, that is undeniable....But there’s also your standard fare. Several of the songs sound the same. There are a couple of atmospheric tunes that add no atmosphere.
  3. There's thrilling evidence of compelling, thoughtful craftsmanship.
  4. 80
    Damned meets JAMC with a snifter of So-Cal pyscho-country-surf--on a series of hip, heady, lo-fi tunes, a large number of which seems to have the word "goth" in the title. [Aug 2009, p.95]
  5. There's a sense that he's trying to pass off a lack of ability as some kind of artistic statement. [Aug 2009, p.113]
  6. 60
    Low on polish but high on anything-goes exuberence, in Wavves-world The Beach Boys rub shoulders with Half Japanese, The Shaggs with Guided By Voices and Pavement with JFA, all held together with sneaker laces and stickers to create a bedroom-wall collage as scruffy as it is irresistible. [Aug 2009, p.96]
  7. The battle between noise and melody veers from scary to hilarious to heroic, and as a metaphor for trying to feel good in trying times, it may hit you close to home.
  8. Wavvves is about as simple as its author’s pedigree, but wildly more intriguing.
  9. There are plenty of songs here you won’t want to listen to more than once, but plenty that’ll also lodge in your skull like fragments of glass from a smashed Coke bottle.
  10. This is already one of the most talked-about independent releases of 2009, and rightfully so. [Spring 2009, p.75]
  11. 80
    The result: an album exuding wall-punching energy, ugly noise, and raging nostalgia for stale bong water and sunburn.
  12. The next obstacle for Wavves will be deciding whether to ditch the bedroom and work in an actual studio, but for now these lo-fi pop gems are more than enough to be getting on with.
  13. Wavvves does tend to tail off down repetition high street towards the end, but all in all, even where the experimental interlude segments of 'Goth Girls' and 'Killr Punx, Scary Demons' knit the record together like butterfly clips around a gaping wound, there's enough here to suggest Nathan Williams has the potential to become a very special talent indeed in the none too distant future.
  14. The incredibly lo-fi production is sweetened by Williams's knack for knocking out gloriously dumb 60s pop melodies.
  15. I don’t think there’s any doubt Wavvves consistently delivers wonderful ideas, and those keeping a close watch on the West Coast underground will have to continue to include this kid in their daily musings until he actually provides material worth the blog-storm.
  16. A few tracks here sound less like fully developed songs and more like a college-age kid tinkering with a four-track, but overall, Williams hits more than he misses.
  17. Just like real fireworks, there's a "gather 'round" quality to this spectacle, but don't forget some earplugs.
  18. The music itself is relentlessly blanched in fuzz, an intentionally scuzzy sound that, despite the borderline annoying atmosphere, does less to limit these songs than grant them a claustrophobically dense beauty.
  19. There’s mountains of potential here, but the initial hype was premature. If he keeps it together long enough for a second album, Williams may deliver on the promise of greatness.
  20. Though a solid and promising outing, Wavves isn’t a revelatory record. It fits nicely into the "scene," however vague that semblance is these days.
  21. The second album has the more obvious and combustible singles. But there’s nothing on the second album that comes close to the 1-2-3 punch of 'California Goth,' 'Wavves,' and 'Lover.'
  22. Williams might have something here, but his GarageBand tinkering will only take him so far. Wavvves is a small-dose fix; as a whole, teeth grind.
  23. His melodies, whether delivered in an affected falsetto (closer to Animal Collective than the Beach Boys) or a grumpy baritone, are simple and hummable to a fault--without the energy of the distorted cassette recording, I have a feeling the songs would be a bit too cloying.
  24. If they ultimately self-destruct as they appear to be these days, their legacy is hopefully remembered for self-produced fuzz-rock and sloppy onstage antics. More importantly, hopefully they're remembered.

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