Wavves – [Live]

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Amidst a crashing economy and headline news that feature reports on pirates and tea-bagging, Wavves gives a hopeful reminder that everything is going to be a-okay. I’m not suggesting that Nathan Williams, the 22 year-old native from San Diego has the means to solve all our problems but he sure has the effortless jams that can allow us to escape and get those much needed minutes to just trip the fuck out. Clocking in at around 40 minutes at best, Williams, the one man band man, was accompanied for his Echo performance by fellow friend and drummer Ryan Ulsh, the two giving a stimulus package of a performance. Attention though must be made to the audience as it was divided, filled with those that wanted to be there and those that just wanted to gaze around and write a status update when they got back home. Sure, babbes love Wavves. Duddes love Wavves too. I even bought a t-shirt at the end of the night and that never, ever happens. Still with all that love, I couldn’t help but notice all the blank faces in the crowd, which pretty much told you that the blogs were doing the deciding and that in reality when they were staring at Williams’ rat tail of a haircut they were probably thinking “oh shit, did I forget to DVR tonight’s LOST episode.” “So Bored” indeed. And it’s unfortunate really because Williams’ has earned the hype that’s befallen on his very early career (practically a year and some change) and for his return to Southern California, he really deserved a hero’s welcome or at least a better crowd to take pleasure in his music that basks in the golden state suburbia and all that malt liquor fuzz.

Because you see, everything clicked in all the right places. Williams couldn’t fall back on the crutch that we call fuzz and from the looks of it he didn’t need it as he played these now sparse tunes with a fluorescent, carefree abandon. Absent were the voice cracks and the fidgeting that seemed to be present in live videos on the Internet. Bouncing around like a pogo, his head recklessly moving from left to right, practically in rhythm with Ulsh’s crashing drums, Williams came across as a confident performer, oblivious to everyone around him even so much as the plastic cups that hit him from the raucous few up front . And what about all those harmonies that stuck out against all that monstrous muck found on his most recent record Wavvves? On stage they truly shined…I imagine it was all that Cali sun. And oh yeah all the songs ripped. “Beach Demon” was rad. “To the Dregs” was sick. And set closer “Wavves,” killed. And though I’m not a big fan of it on record “Weed Demon,” was terrific and I was hearing it when I was washing my hands in the bathroom! My only nitpick was the omission of “No Hope Kids,” a gem of a song found on Wavvves. If you peel off all the layers of noise, you discover a song that beautifully captures what it’s like to grow up as a teenager, bored stiff and alone. The song is a testament to how underrated Williams’ songwriting really is.

It’s funny, after it was all said and done and Williams put down his guitar and exited off stage, the punk pop riffs of “What’s My Age Again,” from Blink 182, Williams’ San Diego compatriots, played. Ironic really, because when you break it all down (breaking the Wavves if you will), the dude’s music is pretty timeless.

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