EP Review: Wavves- Life Sux (2011)

Artist: Wavves
Full Title: Life Sux EP
Year: 2011
Label: Ghost Ramp
1) Bug- 9
2) I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl- 9
3) Nodding off (featuring Best Coast)- 8
4) Poor Lenore- 8
5) Destroy (featuring Fucked Up)- 6/7
6- In the Sand (live)- 9

Comments: I often hear younglings shout and scream that OUR generation sucks [sux], our music, our culture, our society SUX. Well, this is Wavves, this a Wavves review, so I am going to stick with number one and tackle thee other two another time. Sure, I will agree that the mainstream music is putrid, but dig a little bit deeper (as if in this modern age it is a hard task) and there are plenty of true rock and rollers, true ganstas. In mine eyes, Wavves is chief amongst these proud, few folk and in the past few years they have demonstrated their quality and skill. Now, in Twenty Eleven we have Life Sux. Wavves does it again. I have always said with Wavves that if it was anyone else, they would have fucked it up. LS is a further testament to Wavves’s prowse as great pop songwriters- in fact I hate the very idea that to some people they are just a hip, indie trend. As a massive, obsessive fan of Wavves that just seems grotesque. Of course, it does not take a Steve Jobs to realize that with this new EP Wavves have moved into a poppier direction or maintained the pop punk angle they have grounded and become known for. Well, I say amen brother. As long as it works, I am all for it. And with this EP it definitely works. So, let’s take a look at it finally! “Bug,” is the the first track and it is certainly a catchy motherfucker. With this first track we do get the sense tht Wavves are capturing what they perfected with their last LP King of the Beach (2010), in both a sonic and lyrical sense. Sonically, the guitars are very thick and loud and overall the song hits you hard and demands your attention, it is hard to ignore- I couldn’t, if I wanted to. Lyrically, the song is classic Wavves; downer, angst ridden lyrics (to upbeat music)-“you’re NO FUN, you’re JUST DUMBBBB!” It’s a fun sad song. The negative aspect of this record is definitely more apparent than ever before in the Wavves universe. Ever since day one, their music has been filled with anxiety, insecurity, and self-hatred, but they take it to the extreme on this release, as if the title was not an indicator… No sunny beach, no super soakers, and no convertible balloons. At the same time, the music is just as ascending. Anywho, next up is “I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl,” maybe the strongest track on this EP. I reviewed Grohl’ in a previous post about a month back- https://klyam.com/2011/08/29/wavves-i-wanna-meet-dave-grohl/. Another strong, heavy hiting cut, and despite it’s length (surpassing the five minute mark, a rarity for a Wavves tune) it never drags on you. Nathan Williams’s vocals are top notch here and after hearing this number a zillion times, I am still so wrapped up in its sentiment. At times, I forget that this is a song “about” Dave Grohl. I feel like this could be retarded novelty song, almost Nickelbeck esque-AHHHH!, essentially a song about being a rich and famous, and cool rock star, but it is nothing like that. Instead, it is about personal problems like any other Wavves song and so when Nathan sings “I Wanna Be Dave Grohl” it feels all the more powerful. “Nodding Off,” features Best Coast’s Bethany Consentino on guest vocals and here she is used mainly to complement the overall sound of the song and also Nathan’s vocals, not standing out as just a “guest voice” or letting her personality flood the song. This definitely works out and makes it a stronger track as opposed to “Destroy,” which features Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham. This track unfortunately is more typical, in the sense that while Damian’s vocals are cool and well done, they call too much attention to him instead of the song itself. It’s more akin to saying “HEY EVERYBODY, IT’S THE DUDE FROM FUCKED UP!” If it was more subtle like Bethany’s appearance then it would be more effective, at least for my money. I suppose if this was some special single release it would be more acceptable, but it takes the EP down a notch, not too bad though. Don’t get me wrong, “Destroy” is not a bad song and it maintains the catchiness of the rest of the record; not to mention solid, simple drumming from Jacob Cooper. The final track, “In the Sand, (live)” is definitely one of the finest from the EP. And indeed, it feels like a song intended to be heard live (as I gloriously experienced at the Royale in Boston a couple of weeks back). The lines, “Say…. What you wanted Sayyyyy” are great live and easy to sing along to; a stellar closer to a stellar record. All in all, a fantastic EP from Wavves, all fast, driving, loud, youthful anthems. This is not a throw away, forgettable item, that is never the case with Wavves. True Gangsta.

Grade : 8/10

* A review of Wavves’s performance w/ Fucked Up @ the Royale will be up shortly. Keep your panties on.**

** Scratch that.


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