King of the BeachAlbum | Wavves By Stewart Mason
Nathan Williams grows up...just enough.
Even in the hyperspeed world of music blogs, has there ever been a rise and fall faster than that of Nathan Williams, aka Wavves? The San Diego noise-pop savant released his first and second albums within about four months of each other, and was the buzz of the moment until a drug-fueled onstage meltdown stopped him cold and the hipster kids moved on to Dum Dum Girls and Best Coast. Happily, with a rehab stint behind him and no longer under pressure to be the next big thing, Williams has gotten his act together and made an album that fulfills the promise of his earlier releases. Made in a proper studio with a real producer and the assistance of his new backing band (bassist Stephen Pope and drummer Billy Hayes, formerly with the late Jay Reatard), King of the Beach almost entirely dispenses with the overdriven distortion and muddy sound of Wavves' earlier records, focusing instead on Williams' knack for clever '60s-derived pop hooks. And now that we can actually hear Williams' lyrics, there's an unexpected emotional weight on display on tracks like the despondent "Green Eyes" and the wistful "Baseball Cards." This is the album Wavves was building toward all along, and it suggests better still to come.
|King of the Beach|