By Kieran Webber
Wavves have developed and changed a fair amount since their start in the late ’00s particularly since 2013 with the release of the album “Afraid Of Heights” which saw a cleaner and sharper band producing pop punk hooks lathered in their SoCal angst.
They haven’t slowed down or stopped there though as “V” there second major record label LP is stronger, better and moodier than their previous album, the lack of filters on Williams vocals and cleaner but still crunchy guitars has made for a fantastic and memorable album that shows us why they are considered on of the best to emerge from the West Coast surf rock scene.
The album opens with “Heavy Metal Detox” a reference point to what the whole album is, a catchy and enjoyable rock and roll ride, this song is the embodiment of all that is good about the album and Wavves as a band.
This said Wavves don’t shy away from changing up a few things especially with the Cure/Morrissey inspired song “Pony” or with the song “Redlead” which has an incredible piece of production value with several layers of guitars playfully dancing around in the background each one gnarlier than the other.
The unfortunate thing about the album and probably the only criticism, is that it can be hard to differentiate between tracks and parts of the album bunch up into one due the similar sound, that said there are stand out tracks that break up the mundane an example of this is “Tarantula” vocally it stands out due to it’s gripping yet depressing lyrics and softer more melodic guitar riffs.
The one problem if you will that bands face when they start to work with major record labels is that they will always try to interfere with the music something that Williams had to deal with on this album with the single “Way Too Much” so this could be their last dance with a major record label for better or worse.
Whilst Green Day and Blink 1.8.2 still act like they can keep producing albums that appeal to young people Wavves has swooped in and actually produced an album that does, not only have they done it better they have done it in such a relaxed style. The progression between “King Of The Beach” and “V” is honestly incredible, they have gone from obscurity to being notorious in a matter of years and there are no signs of that stopping yet.
“V” is clearly a more polished and cleaner take on their music yet still sounds as if it is fresh as well as new more of the point the band still sounds like they are having fun in creating their music.