Though some audiences loved how Wavves’ sun-bleached falsetto vocals and buzzsaw guitar communicated the idea of adolescent ennui and THC-infused sturm und drang, they seemed less impressed with actual scrapped tours and childish feuding with other bands. King Of The Beach benefits from a timely team-up with Jay Reatard’s former rhythm section and scrubbed-down vocals courtesy of Modest Mouse producer Dennis Herring, who provided just the push into the deep end that Nathan Williams needed to hone his interpersonal skills and sharpen the weather-damaged hooks of his lopsided sophomore effort, Wavvves. Williams’ often tin-eared warbling is toned down in favor of streamlined, girl-group-inflected barnburners, a weak-sauce attempt at Animal Collective bounce on “Mickey Mouse,” and the sound of Beulah frontman Miles Kurosky getting sand kicked in his face on “Take On The World.” The newly intelligible lyrics are mostly self-loathing: “My own friends hate me but I don’t give a shit.” Apparently he cares enough, though, to share songwriting duties with bassist Stephen Pope on the Built To Spill-esque “Linus Spacehead” and drummer Billy Hayes on the album’s last two tracks—a kookily endearing capper on a clutch of cleaner, more user-friendly songs from a guy who’s as comfortable catching rays as tinkering around in the basement.
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