Wavves and Woods

Look who’s releasing pop albums this summer!

Noisy, stoned, bored Nathan Williams’ 3rd record as Wavves, King of the Beach, is a veritable family sing-a-long of  garage  bedroom rockers compared to his previous two releases.  Where Wavves and Wavvves were exercises in amp-distorting, face-melting sonics, King of the Beach not only benefits from a more deft touch in production, it also boasts more dynamic arrangements.  At certain moments (“Super Soaker’s” STUPID! refrain), King of the Beach edges a wee too close to Green Day, but for the most part this is still the soundtrack of a disaffected and self-deprecating young man who can still bust out a pretty charming Brian Wilson hook. 

And, hey, he avoided what would have been the insufferably-titled Wavvvves.

One of my favorite albums so far this year, At Echo Lake, is a devastating leap forward for Woods.  Eccentric and feminine where the Dutchess and the Duke are ill-tempered and unshaven, Woods brings several complimentary pieces to the whole.  Southern gothic tones, some freedom-rocking David Crosby, and doses of 60’s Syd Barrett psychedelia, all bound together with a way-cool AM lo-fidelity better hummed than sung.  At Echo Lake is sure to end up on my Top 10 list this year, and I can only hope the band strays far enough west to see live.

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