Nathan Williams is sure of two things in life: he pretty much hates everyone and he wants to meet Dave Grohl. If you’re unfamiliar with Wavves, you may be thinking that you already share one thing with Williams — a mutual dislike. However, for fans of Wavves, his proclamation about Grohl from the Life Sux EP is totally fitting, and the part about hating everyone is old news. Wavves supporters have already given up the idea that Williams would ever befriend them, but they love him anyway because there aren’t enough angsty, immature people making music that does not sound like shit. Listening to Wavves is like a window to my teenage years; he has continued making music that is reminiscent of the pop-punk and noise pop of the past with modern updates like surf-style guitar. Wavves and the Life Sux EP are perfect for anyone who is into the surf-rock trend and may have once been an angry youth (or still is).
The opening track, “Bug,” has a typical chorus that repeats the phrase “You’re no fun” and adds on the killer phrase “You’re so dumb” at the end. Williams would probably say this about everyone he has met, so don’t take it personally — everybody knows a “Bug.” In fact, most of the tracks are about how obnoxious the company of others is — but ironically they feature a few of Williams’ “friends” in the indie scene. Best Coast appear on the track “Nodding Off” — their frontwoman, Bethany Cosentino, is Williams’ girlfriend. Further on, we find “Destroy,” which features Fucked Up, with whom Wavves will be touring with this fall. Fittingly, the track is the hardest on the EP, and it is easy to imagine Fucked Up, Nathan Williams, and Wavves’ mohawk-adorned bassist (formerly of Jay Reatard‘s band) all screaming the word “destroy” in unison.
Williams also shows his soft spot for grunge on several tracks. “I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl” is living proof that even though life “sux,” Williams thinks Dave Grohl is cool: “I am what I am/ Who am I?/ I don’t know what that means/ But I wanna meet Dave Grohl.” Williams even takes a stab at a slower, grunge-type song with “Poor Lenore.” The title suggests a literary reference to Poe, and the song as a whole is a suggestion of the tiniest sliver of maturity in Williams. It’s nice to see, but it probably wouldn’t work if the entire EP was Wavves trying to grow up. And Williams knows it.
As the closing track, “In the Sand,” points out, Williams is still “King of the Beach.” A line from “I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl” sums things up perfectly. On last year’s King of the Beach Nathan screamed “You’re never gonna stop me,” and now it’s been changed to “You’re still never gonna stop me.” Nathan Williams may have a more polished sound than he did when he started recording music as Wavves, but he’s still the same dude that had an ecstasy-induced meltdown at the 2009 Primavera Sound Festival, got arrested for marijuana possesion in Germany last year, and doesn’t give a shit about anything.
Stream: “I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl”
Stream: “Destroy (ft. Fucked Up)”