Relive your worst semester of high school with the new Wavves album 'V'

Surf-punk’s revival has found a new standard in Wavves and the band's new album “V.” On the heels of a wonderful split album “No Life For Me” with Cloud Nothings, “V” sports poppy-chords while brandishing other genres, thus making every song even more catchy. 

Wavves establishes its bratty yet depressed ethos immediately with “Heavy Metal Detox” as singer-songwriter Nathan Williams croons with his forever sixteen and upset voice. The lines “I’m not doing anything today, I don’t care what you say” set the lyrical direction for the rest of the record. 

Occasionally, "V" detours to complain about something tied to some form of substance abuse that takes the listener back the worst semester of high school.

The strongest cut off “V” lands squarely on the single “My Head Hurts.” Williams finds the perfect balance of head-banging hooks tied together with moments of being angry and heart-broken at the same time. The song doesn’t overstay its welcome, clocking in at just under three minutes, with all of the songs on this album sitting around the same length.

The next few cuts of this album shove this singular direction toward the listener until arriving at “Redlead” and “Heart Attack,” in which the band flexes the most unique moments on this record. These songs also display the weakness of Williams’ songwriting in that he only creates tension by shredding chords.

Other times, the guitars just disappear completely and hang on the vocal performances with the bass and drums protecting the pace of each record. While those moments occur sparsely and never are done to a point in which songs lose momentum, it’s a noticeable blemish on an otherwise fantastic album.

After “Heart Attack,” the group returns to form with “Flamezesz,” ringing similarly to the opener in surf-pop infused punk garnished with clinical depression about anything and everything. The song sprints through numerous guitar-licks at a pace that is equally danceable and mosh-friendly, resulting in one of the best moments on the album.

“Tarantula” and “Wait” prepare the listener for the “V” finale in similar fashion as the beginning, but in a less stellar way due to the songs being less infectious by comparison. The songs are extremely enjoyable with some grunge influences coming through but temptation to return to the beginning of the album sits in the background.

As “Cry Baby” kicks off with a gut punch to demand attention toward the impeding end of “V,” Williams screams that he “can’t breathe” like an upset toddler before taking a psychedelic turn. The result: a confusing but somewhat enjoyable end to something that feels so short-lived, like a kid who got really cool only for senior year. Don’t worry; you can always listen to the album again, unlike high school.

Related Links:

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Wavves' guitarist talk Odd Future comparison, Pete Wentz, pop-punk

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