by Rory McArthur – @RoryMeep
19th May will see surf-rock outfit Wavves release their sixth record, You’re Welcome. Their previous album, V, was a pretty solid effort, providing everything we’ve come to expect from the band over the years, but lacked any real standout tracks, perhaps with the exception of My Head Hurts. What we’ve already heard from its follow up hints at no new ground being broken, but both Daisy and the title track provide upbeat, fuzz-laden jolts of energy that are sure to please most fans of Nathan Williams and co.
Their latest offering, Animal, is no different, but this time around, the Wavves formula is perhaps getting a little tired, producing what is likely to be a filler track within the records 12 songs. “The whole world, covered in gasoline” is exactly the kind of gloomy lyrical content Williams has been writing for years, and although it creates a pretty catchy hook, leaves you with a niggling sense that the band could be pushing themselves a little more. Williams delivers his vocals with his trademark lazy yell, but to his credit, it remains as endearing as ever, with the higher pitched backing vocals conjuring up the kind of summery feel that marks much of the band’s output.
Glitchy production on the drums provides a little variation to the instrumentation, with the pre-chorus sections recalling a lite version of the latest FIDLAR record in this respect. The guitars are as driving and fuzzy as ever, but as with the lyrics, give off a sense of familiarity that is both underwhelming yet enjoyable. In fact, the track provides little instrumentation wise to discuss at all, with it being fairly standard garage rock fare in the vein of bands such as Cloud Nothings that, although nothing to write home about, is perfectly suited to the vibe Wavves seem to be going for.
This is by no means a poor track, but if you’re looking for any kind of meaningful progression or variation from Wavves, you’re going to be disappointed. Prior fans of the band will find plenty to enjoy here, but new listeners would be best served to check out King of the Beach or Afraid of Heights before this new material. As such, the three tracks released from You’re Welcome so far give the impression that the forthcoming record will be more of the same from the band, but will serve as a perfectly serviceable summer garage rock soundtrack. Is there anything wrong with this? Not at all, but at least a little differentiation would do wonders for the band’s discography.