Concert Review: Wavves & Fucked Up @ Royale (9/23/11)

Artists: Wavves & Fucked Up
Venue: Royale, Boston, MA
Date: Friday, September 23, 2011
Act I: Wavves– Anyone that has shared a room with me for at least a few days can name at least one or two Wavves songs. If you’re Chris’s roommate you will be inundated with a plethora of Wavves and other Punk Slimers. So yeah for KLYAM, seeing Wavves is like Opening Day of the Baseball Season (seeing Black Lips is our Super Bowl X 100), big stuff, big stuff. The boys, with new addition, Alex Gates (Boston Chinks, Barbaras, Magic Kids), bring their best game yet.  The set begins with the Wavves (2009) classic “Beach Demon,” a terrific choice for opener, but sadly the crowd seems unenthusiastic.  The band sounded great and with BD being one of my top Wavves tunes, I was quite excited, but my awe apparently was not shared with the other attendees, until the next song…  “Idiot,” one of King of the Beach’s (2010)  strongest tracks . Perhaps, the kiddies did not recognize  BD? but when Idiot kicked in the crowd exploded per usual, and everything was right again in the KLYAM- Wavves universe.  Idiot truly is one of the quintessential Wavves songs. Just perfect Wavves, in every sense. I often think of what song I would use to introduce the unconverted, and definitely Idiot is in the top three. In general, the group is probably the biggest youthful anthem oriented band of our generation, like Nirvana, The Replacements, Cheap Trick, The Who, and Chuck Berry in generations past. Now, I know to most reading this you must have a look on your face like I interrupted your birthday party, hopped up on the table, and in front of you and all your disgusted friends and family members, I took a massive dump right on your precious cake. Well, that may be so, but if you look at Wavves, not just their music, but their fans, it is like a mirror of this generation, good or bad.  That is what I noticed at the Royale, the few times I was able to stand on my two feet.  The sweaty crowd enjoyed all of the various Wavves numbers on display for the evening. And that is certainly one of the greatest treats of seeing Wavves live: hit after hit. They play all the classic songs a die hard fan (or even casual fan for that matter) would want them to play.  Songs from the first Wave (insert the obnoxious laughter that appears before the track “Idiot”) a la “So Bored,” Kingdabeech era, and lastly 4/6 of the new EP Life Sux.  Can you dig it? It is dug, son.  Honestly, one of the few bands that have consistently satsified that element of a great concert for me. Actually the only band really.  The second major aspect of what makes Wavves stand out is the nice little touches, they, particularly, singer/guitarist, Nathan Williams, sprinkle into the songs.  One of my favorite moments was when they started playing “To the Dregs,”- a song that makes me hard on a regular basis, and Nathan is just calmly strummin’ the guitar and softly singing the “wooooooooooo” vocals, indicating that it is in fact Dregs and seriously pumping me up for the song. “In the Sand,” was another major stand out, and when Nathan sings the lines “Say what you wanted to sayyyy…” you can see in his eyes that he even he knows he is the shit.  Alright, well I’ve sucked his dong long enough now, and that’s not my job, that job is for another Bratty B.

Set List (from album to album):

Wavves (2008):

Wavvves (2009):
“Beach Demon”
“To the Dregs”
“So Bored”
“No Hope Kids”

“Friends Were Gone”

King of the Beach (2010):
“King of the Beach”
“Super Soaker”
“Post Acid”
“Take On the World”
“Green Eyes”
“Linus Spacehead”

Life Sux (2011):
“I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl”
“Nodding Off”
“In the Sand”

Act II: Fucked Up– I have to admit I came for Wavves; I often come for Wavves, but Fucked Up has been on the KLYAM back burner for a couple of years. I am at best a casual FU fan, but nontheless I do dabble in their work and I appreciate it. Seeing them live enhances that appreciation for sure. They sounded great and while I cannot say I recognized any of the songs, I was massively entertained by the showmanship of frontman Damian Abraham aka Pink Eyes. This dude serioulsy appreciates his fans; interacting with the audience the whole time, even going so far as to hop off stage into the sea of fans and literally, with mic in hand, strolling all the way to the very back of the club to sing along and “bro down” with anyone in sight. Everyone was having a gay olde time, until there was some unexpected commotion that briefly dettered the evening’s momentum.  Long story short, an enraged stage diver got into a physical altercation with a body guard- he swung his fist at the guard, the guard swung back and his cronies joined in, a field day ensued, leading to his excommunication.  Damian settled the score, explaining how he saw the confrontation go down. He affirmed that despite this little disturbance, everyone else can still have fun. And we did. We all lived happily ever after. The End.

Grade: 9/10- Wavves always kicks ass and Fucked Up was pretty sick too!


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- 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.


A Rant Stolen From A Rant




Fucked Up’s sentiments expressed in three lines.