Wavves: Life Sux
Wavves’ new EP, the cheerfully titled Life Sux, is impressive in its ability to remain versatile in a surf-ish sub genre that can so easily get repetitive. Frontman Nathan Williams’ honest and echoing American vocals are supported by rich and developmental riffs that are markedly more prominent than on previous albums, making this six-track offering a blessing to fans as well as anyone looking for some classic surf-rock to sway around wildly to. The opening track, ‘Bug’, builds up to a great instrumental stretch and sets the tone for this catchy record. While ‘Poor Lenore’ slows things down a bit by offering a slightly mellow (but welcome) chill out track, the upbeat pace and angry indie boy feel is cemented by ‘I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl’ (which features some nice vocal harmonies as well as another classic instrumental outro) and the clever ‘In The Sand’. Another tone-changer for the EP is the two collaborative tracks, ‘Nodding Off’ (feat. Best Coast) and ‘Destroy’ (feat. Fucked Up). While ‘Nodding Off’ has electronic vibes, it maintains the surf-rock chords and jamming that along with distinct, cooperative vocals, characterises Wavves. ‘Destroy’, on the other hand, gives the EP its powerful, thrash track. Damian Abraham’s loud, shouty contribution almost overdoes the song, but also gives it a different personality to the other tracks that contributes to the versatility of Life Sux. All in all, Wavves’ new work is much of the same, but you can’t deny that they’ve got a winning formula, and that their guitar playing has become more intricate. Life Sux is a ‘stuck in your head on replay’ job, which succeeds in making you swish your hair whether you particularly like the songs or not, but either way, it’s a great set of music for secretly swishing your hair to, or to enjoy more seriously as a genuinely pleasant slice of surf-guitar indulgence.