Album Review: Wavves - V

25 September 2015 | 3:24 pm | Brendan Telford

"It's a tough nut to crack, with a penchant for flippantly changing tempos and moods within the song."

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Nathan Williams may have helped to egregiously stroke his stoner shtick to the extent of producing his own marijuana paraphernalia, but no one can accuse him of a resultant lack of motivation and work ethic. Since the abrupt ablution that was Williams' debut as Wavves in 2008, he has ridden a wave of beach punk imitators and acolytes and pumped out five albums, contributed to video games and collaborated with Cloud Nothings.

His latest effort has fully shirked the lo-fi scuzz that epitomised the blase, ad hoc production of Wavves' inception, sounding bigger and brasher than ever — which is a blessing and a curse. The woozy yet insistent opening of Flamezsz launches into a blasted, upbeat punk track, a giddily hook-laden track. The string bend and rebound effect on the guitars for Way Too Much is almost amusing, which is where this song becomes perplexing with drumming damped down and meticulously cut to sound almost machine-pad like, vocals that veer from gritty to saccharine in the space of ten seconds, and sunny euphoric instrumentation that crunches into a headier drive for the outro.

There is a sense of conflicting internal emotions and moods throughout, Heavy Metal Detox finding the beauty in taking a step back and getting out of the fire, while All The Same seems to play at the extreme opposite of this ideal, losing minds in a pop fever dream. It's a tough nut to crack, with a penchant for flippantly changing tempos and moods within the song. This has always been a devilish trademark, but it can still rankle, especially when the songs perilously border a been-there-done-that mediocrity.