Wavves, "King of the Beach"

88 Billboard Rating

Nathan Williams, the man behind noise-pop band Wavves, tightens up his sound on the group's third album, "King of the Beach." Instead of the lo-fi, DIY approach he took on the act's last two releases, Williams recruited a permanent backing band and recorded in a proper studio for his new set. The result is a 12-song collection of washed-out summer tunes perfect for beach outings and late-night house parties. The punk-leaning "Post Acid" begins with pounding drums and heavy reverb that leads into a stomping guitar riff, while "Super Soaker" boasts a thrashy vibe reminiscent of Nirvana's "Territorial Pissings." (In Kurt Cobain-like form, Williams repeatedly screams toward the end of the latter, "But I still feel stupid.") In addition to its fast-paced punk tunes, "King of the Beach" also features a handful of mellow tracks with shimmering guitar lines and Brian Wilson-esque vocal layering, as heard on "When Will You Come" or "Baby Say Goodbye."

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