Wavves has come back with a new full length album, this time on lead singer Nathan William’s record label, Ghost Ramp… and I really wish this album would have made it into the trash bin instead. Our last true LP from Wavves that was not a collaboration, was in 2015 with the V album, which was my introduction to Wavves and their music. I saw them live on their tour supporting V, and that was my first concert and a memory which I will always hold dear to me. However, I will not be holding the memories of me listening to this new album on repeat to review it- dear to me in any way.
This new album is titled “You’re Welcome”, and based on the records content, I would find it more fitting to rename it to “No Thank You”. This album is lazy, uninspired, boring, and I think it is not out of the question that Wavves was intoxicated beyond human consumption while writing these songs and playing them back in production. This is even harder to believe however, because the album lacks the psychedelic charm I loved on King of The Beach, and the themes of self loathing due to over consumption of drugs and alcohol that appeared on their last album, V. The first track, “Daisy” begins with a killer guitar riff that brings that brought me high hopes for this album. Then you realize after listening to it that the first 20 seconds of the album are the only thing that this album ever had going for it. Williams spouts some awful, half written lyrics on this song about “packin’ my bags and getting away man!” and even provides us with the aneurysm inducing line, “I drove my car into a black hole!”, like what on earth does that even mean Nathan? That does not correlate to anything else you have discussed previously in this song. Then he sings some more unrelated stuff about a girl or something, before delivering this line, “And my polar bear don’t do what he’s told”, come on man, don’t make me laugh, is your ghost writer a second grade student? Then at this point in the song Nathan can no longer even seem to sing in sync with his own guitar riff.
The garbage does not end there. The next track, “You’re Welcome”, is a repetitive piece of trash where Nathan tries to break off from his usual whiny vocal style for a brief moment to deliver a monotone hook that made me physically yawn. He attempts to get experimental with the instrumentation on this track, but it just winds up being poorly thought out and forgettable. “No Shade” has to be the worst Wavves song I have ever heard. The lyrics are so poorly written and repetitive that I want to pierce a long nail through the center of my forehead when I listen to it. It is Williams attempt at making a “sunny, hip, short punk rock track with the critically acclaimed fuzzy guitars!!!” Complete TRASH.
After that is the song “Million Enemies” which sucks as well. While the lyrics are not as bad here, all of Nathan’s hooks are drawn out, stale, boring, and nonsensical. This song is also another attempt at adding something new and innovative to Wavves’ musical style, but instead- crashing and burning in the process with another lame song. “Hollowed Out” begins with the classic Wavves “oooo oooo oooo”, as if it has ever added anything ever to any of his music. Then he introduces these annoying indie vocals in the verses, while simultaneously coming off as a blink-182 mime band in this track’s lame, one word chorus, “I’m hollowed out!”. That is all there is to it, another below mediocre pop punk song that missed the trash can and landed in the album.
I had said up above that “No Shade” was the worst song that Wavves has ever written, however I was wrong by about a mile or two. “Come to The Valley” is the worst Wavves song ever written, containing a vomit inducing pop hook where he recites the song’s title in a way that makes this song sound like a musical number from a children’s movie. Near the end of this song Williams manages to surprise us all with some sick baritone acapella by repeating “dumb dumb dumb” for a while, which I would say is the most relevant set of lyrics that Nathan Williams put on this album. I do not know how anyone enjoys this track, and maybe Nathan put it on the tracklist with “well every album has at least one bad track who cares duuude the rest of the album is sick!” in his mind. The next song is “Animal”, which was one of the more popular singles he released in support of this complete trainwreck of an album, and this song sucks as well. This song is not bad in the way that the other ones were however, it sucks because he makes a very lazy attempt at getting political with the lines, “The whole world covered in gasoline / And burning alive / I feel taken advantage of / And empty inside!”, which roughly translates to, “Yeah bro big rig oil fat capitalist pigs run the world, and global warming is an issue man. By the way on a much more important note, I am like really tired of being taken advantage of and I am like totally depressed guys.”, Then after that Williams is singing about space or something. Points taken off for the completely unrelated song title as well.
“Stupid in Love” is just garbage, I won’t talk about it, as this review is already long enough and is beginning to become as drawn out and repetitive as this Wavves album. The next track “Exercise” highlights another prime example of an attempt of Wavves attempting to get political with “You won’t believe the shit they feed to us / They are lying to our face!” like oh boy watch out for Nathan Williams he attacked the mainstream media with his mediocre attempt at political punk rock, just give me a break dude. Oh, and then just incase we did not believe his political claims he reminds us by following up with “It’s truuuuuuuuuuuuuue”. Oh okay thanks for telling me it is a true statement, I thought you were just yankin’ my leg there.
“Under” is a trash pop-pop punk-emo-power pop ballad not even worth a listen, it was forgettable even after over three listens, I had to revisit it again to do this review. The next song, “Dreams of Granduer” has the potential to be the best song on the album, but it is just hard to enjoy when at this point you just want the album to be finished with. He tries to get experimental yet again on this album, and I have no idea what he is even trying to sing about. It has some random 8-bit coin samples and synth lines that fluctuate for no reason. Then we have the closer that couldn’t come soon enough, “I Love You” is a whiny, generic song, and an attempt at Wavves trying to get slow, soulful, and romantic. This song is just so awful in a way that makes it hilarious, because you can tell what the were trying to do with this song. Maybe if they wanted to go this route, they wouldn’t have named the song “I Love You” and included more lyrics from that second grade ghost writer I was talking about. Then in the second half of the song Williams attempts to divide the song into two halves by adding in a punchy, dramatic, drum riff around the middle of the track (Cause what generic slow romantic song is complete without one!), and the second half of this song is worse than the first, and I didn’t even know that were possible. Nathan Williams adds in some sound effects here and there along with some more soulful “woooos” and “doo doo doo doo” while the song has this out of place lo-fi drum kick going on in the background. I bet they thought critics would praise them for trying something new, but I hate what they have done.
I do not think this record is very good. I find this record to be an embarrassment and is the worst album I have ever reviewed. I was actually looking forward to this album, but now it is doubtful I will ever look forward to anything new by Wavves for the foreseeable future. I honestly believe Wavves had it’s run by the looks of this album here. It lacks anything worth of value to me, it doesn’t have any angst filled psychedelic tinged punk tracks like “Post-Acid”, “Idiot”, King of The Beach”, or any decent indie rock anthems like “Heavy Metal Detox”, “Way Too Much”, “My Head Hurts”. While I agree it is good for a band to switch up it’s sound, I believe you should do it in a way that sounds natural. This album sounds forced, lazy, and I feel like this is the worst album I will hear that comes out of 2017.
Release Date: 19 May 2017
Genres: Indie Rock, Power Pop, Pop Punk.
Track Highlights: They all suck.
- You’re Welcome
- No Shade
- Million Enemies
- Hollowed Out
- Come to the Valley
- Stupid in Love
- Dreams of Grandeur
- I Love You
i. e. 1.3/10