It’s funny but the second I saw that Wavves‘ new album was called V, I immediately thought of Led Zeppelin‘s IV because you know, roman numerals and shit. But when I saw the album, I had a whoa moment because the dude on the cover of V seemed to directly evoke The Hermit from the Zeppelin IV’s gatefold artwork. Upon closer inspection, they look nothing alike, but my brain certainly wanted to create a common link.
Anyway, finally had a chance to sit down and listen to the album and this feels like Wavves’ most accessible album to date. Not to say “commercial” (man do hipsters hate when their indie bands go commercial and Wavves hasn’t been “indie” for awhile), but the opening tracks sound alot like something the folks at Warner Bros. might be very happy to hear. Don’t get me wrong, Nathan Williams is a strong songwriter, but tracks like Heavy Metal Detox, Way Too Much and All The Same are pretty much college rock radio ready. Also, who the hell listens to the radio anymore? What am I saying??
There are a lot of solid tunes on this album. We still get that surfy beach boys-esque falsetto in songs like Way Too Much and Pony that was way more prevalent on Afraid of Heights, but now sounding a bit more subdued where on earlier albums it perhaps represented a direct homage to 60’s surf and now, “slickening” up the production, Wavves may be starting to sever those ties.
The second half of the album really shines though with Heart Attack and the bass lovely Tarantula and Cry Baby’s screamy chorus. Bonus track Fast Ice is actually the surfiest of them all, with dreamy chords and feeling closer to 60’s surf than ever before. It’s a nice way to close off the album.
1. Heavy Metal Detox
2. Way Too Much
4. All the Same
5. My Head Hurts
7. Heart Attack
11. Cry Baby
12. Fast Ice