Exactly describing Wavves’ sound is kind of hard. On the surface, the basics are apparent: throw in some punk, some tradition rock, maybe a little pop and wrap the whole package with a heavy West Coast vibe.
But all that still doesn’t do their honed-in sound justice. Wavves doesn’t perfectly fit in anywhere, but the one thing you completely understand from their music, especially the latest album V, is that they are aware of the music they wanna make and they make it well.
Wavves has put out seven releases, and it’s fair to say that as the band has made music, their sound has become more and more polished. That has culminated in an album that brings the sound and vibe that has brought Wavves success, but also making an album that is produced exceptionally well.
Lead singer, guitarist and original founder of Wavves, Nathan Williams, is the only member of the group to make it from the band’s earliest days. His progression over time is obvious with each EP and album, and his ability to improve and tweak his music but maintain it’s core is incredible.
It’s a weird phrase, but V is a masterpiece of an album, mostly because it doesn’t sound like it’s trying too hard even though it was obviously crafted with care and attention to the details.
V’s aesthetic is maintained throughout the 31-minute album, but it’s varied enough in sound and style to keep a theme but not seem lazy or one-dimensional.
Whether it’s Williams’ wails in “My Head Hurts” and “Redhead” or the incredibly melodic “Flamezesz” and “Way Too Much,” Williams and the group nail their sound and are able to expand on each track without leaving the general ballpark of the album’s theme.
It’s obviously not a requirement to have a thematically centered album, but it’s a plus. V maintains its identity as a complete work and allows a greater appreciation of what the artist is able to package and combine to provide a layered piece.
Wavves has done that to a tee in V. It’s not organized in terms of sound or story or content, but it is so easy to notice that each of these songs are coming from the same album. The sound stands out among the rest of Wavves’ records.
The single “Pony” is the standout among the album. Wavves doesn’t sacrifice any sound or aesthetic, but “Pony” is one of the few songs in Wavves’ entire discography that does Williams’ voice justice. It properly shows his range and style, but doesn’t come off as overbearing.
V is very possibly my album of 2015. Tame Impala’s Currents also comes to mind, but that’s for different reasons. V, to it’s core, is enjoyable from start-to-finish like Currents, but it has way more fun while maintaining polish and theme.
This is an easy 5 star album, and may be perfect as I continue to listen to it. This is another step forward for Wavves, both in quality and in a progression of sound.