Photos by: Rachel Frank
By: Ty Velasquez
Surfing into sunset. Epic house parties. Drunken lazy days. Blazing sunshine. Dank weed. Jaded boredom. Endless summer. Use these to create a picture of what Wavves sounds like. The San Diego native band encapsulates all things SoCal in their frenetic beachy style. Lead singer Nathan Williams loops himself over his vocals creating dreamy catchy harmonies that lull you with repetition, crashing on you like waves on cloudless sunny days. Vocals are well contrasted with manic guitar breakdowns that embody the tumultuousness of getting trapped inside a water current without air.
Like most good artist, Wavves bio reads like an engrossing drama. In the beginning, Wavves was a solo project for Williams. Fame hit quickly when the world caught on. I saw Wavves with his touring band early on for just 7 bucks at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in SD. I hadn’t heard of them yet but the surf punk hit me like a tsunami. They were soon on a world tour. It must have been a lot for the 22 year old, as he experienced the troubles many rock ‘n’ rollers seem to fsvr. Williams fell into alcoholism and had some struggles with his band, resultinh in a revolving cast of characters. Things seem to have settled down now and he is even sharing some of the writing credit with his bandmates.
With their latest album not due out for another couple weeks, the Observatory North Park show was a refresher course for the surf punk crowd. The single off Grand Theft Auto V’s soundtrack “Nine is God” or popular favorites like “Green Eyes” and “King of the Beach” came back quickly, like laying hungry eyes on your high school crush serveral years later. It was also sweet falling in love with new ear candy like “Flamezesz” and “Way too Much” off their forthcoming album V. The new tracks are more polished and pop punk than I remember as the usual Wavves sound but I guess that’s part of growing up. The hazy underproduction of the past will be missed but they might have had a direct correlation to the drama in his life that he wants to move past. Either way, the show did its job by making sure I couldn’t stop thinking about the band by planting the ridiculously infectious breakdown of “King of the Beach” in my muddled brain for days after watching it live.