Nathan Daniel Williams likes the letter -v’: he’s added another one to the middle of his band’s name for this second album, following last year’s Wavves. The San Diego native makes decidedly difficult music, taking elements of Dinosaur Jnr, My Bloody Valentine and ’60s’ surf pop and putting it through an industrial blender so the output is fuzzier, noisier and more dislocated than an argument between a gaggle of demented Polar bears.
Sometimes it works spectacularly, like the nervous energy of -Beach Demon’, the dreamy cacophony of slacker anthem -So Bored’ or the sun-kissed doo-wop of -To The Dregs’ or -No Hope Kids’. State realises that lo-fi is Williams’ thing, but we defy anyone to the likes of -California Goth’ without wishing for a bit of studio savvy (one of five songs here with the word -goth’ in the title).
Sadly, the majority of this album is pretty much unlistenable. The awful -Sun Opens My Eyes’ and -Gun In The Sun’ make you wish Williams lived in perpetual darkness, while -Goth Girls’ is an exercise in aural time-wasting if ever we heard one: these are the kind of tuneless, lo-fi jams that even the Pixies at their most self-indulgently experimental would’ve left on the studio floor.
The most frustrating thing about listening to Wavvves is that Williams clearly has more than a modicum of musical talent, but he definitely needs someone with a firm hand to take control of the recording process and press the -stop’ button when his eccentricities get the better of him, which unfortunately seems to be most of the time.