Review: Wavves – V

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80%
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Engaging

Wavves are back with their fifth studio album V, that will have your attention from start to finish.

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Wavves were formed by singer-songwriter Nathan Williams in 2008. Their quirky surf punk records and success on the indie music scene attracted the attention of huge music label Warner Bros back in 2013. Famed for tracks such as, ‘King of the Beach’ and ‘I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl,’ and their collaborations with Best Coast, Wavves are back with their fifth studio album, V.

V continues on from the band’s previous work by combining melancholic lyrics with upbeat melodies. Williams’ declaration of “I lost my mind today standing in the rain” on ‘All the Same’, which he voices in the same way as if he was singing about going to the beach especially shows this fusion. Consisting of 11 short and snappy tracks that last for a collective 31 minutes, Wavves are able to grab and hold your attention for the duration of the album. Fast paced guitar lines and bouncy drumbeats create that oh-so-familiar surf punk sound that fans come to expect from the band.

The album opens with ‘Heavy Metal Detox’, and for those that have heard the band before, will immediately recognise Nathan Williams’ vocals. Driving guitar chords, distortion and memorable lyrics make this a track to remember from V. ‘Way Too Much’ follows, which as you may expect is about having a few too many. With lyrics such as, “The sun was coming up and I’ve been drinking too much” will no doubt be something that many of their fans will be able to relate to. ‘Redlead’ takes the album in a darker direction with the repetition of “broken and insane” and the stop-start melody allowing them to do so. Yet the track doesn’t lose any of the pace of the rest of the album. ‘Heart Attack’ and ‘Flamezesz’ suffer from being slightly samey and forgettable, and don’t not really add much to the album. While they are still an enjoyable listen, they just aren’t anything to shout about. Luckily ‘Tarantula’ soon follows and serves as a redeeming track; benefiting from additional harmonies, musical pauses, and catchy riffs.

V is a clean and confident release for Wavves that certainly demonstrates their progression as a band. Despite the theme of self-doubt in their lyrics, it is not something that comes across in their music. Wavves have managed to create an album that sticks to the surf punk melodies that they do best, but without becoming stagnant. While there are a couple of samey and repetitive tracks on the album, ‘Heavy Metal Detox’ and ‘Tarantula’ certainly do. This is an album definitely worth half an hour of your time.

V is out now via Warner Bros.

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