Written by: PP on 22/12/2021 18:33:42

Wavves have been consistently producing thoroughly enjoyable upbeat indie rock with punk flavors added in throughout their career. Each of their six records thus far has been a fun affair of energetic, albeit simplistic rock'n'roll that's infectious from first listen onwards. For their seventh album "Hideaway" the band has done something different. Vocalist Nathan Williams spent the Covid-19 lockdowns living in his parents' shed, no doubt reminiscing of better yesteryears, and out came a record that's heavily inspired by 1950s and 60s melodies. In fact, the songs on the record started as samples from various songs during that era and were fleshed out into full-flavored Wavves songs after which the samples were dropped out from the final mix.

It's a clever artistic process that effectively sounds like The Beatles and Ramones got together and wrote an indie punk album. Opener "Thru Hell" filters garage rock through a 60s lens, sounding like The Hives listened to a couple of Beatles originals, and out came an upbeat, highly energetic, and catchy piece of lo-fi melody. With plenty of punk undertones on display, the record ranges from buzzing tracks like this one, the infectiously catchy "Help Is On The Way", to the surf-laden "Honeycomb" without necessarily straying too far from the core Wavves soundscape. Nonetheless, it's different enough to have this record stick out in their discography thanks to the obvious 50s and 60s flavor.

One of the best features of a Wavvess soundscape has always been its relentless focus on keeping it simple. The vibrant melodies have a buzz attached to them that catches on even the most skeptical listener, thanks to the lo-fi production that leaves the guitars ringing and the vocals feeling like they came through an old-school microphone. Here, that approach holds true only about half of the album. Songs like "Planting A Garden" and the few others mentioned here are instantly memorable cuts that recall why Wavves enjoys a cult-like status in some circles. Yet "Caviar" and "Sinking Feeling" are too slow and balladic, sounding dated instead of the otherwise energetic renditions like "Marine Life", for instance. As such, the record feels oddly inconsistent. Yes, it sounds like Wavves - but only if Wavves suddenly found themselves in contention with The Beatles during the 60s. Mostly good but something feels off.


Download: Thru Hell, Help Is On The Way, Honeycomb, Planting A Garden
For the fans of: The Hives, Best Coast, Japandroids, The Beatles
Listen: Facebook

Release date 16.07.2021
Fat Possum Records

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