CD King of the Beach [Digipak] (CD 6967414),
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King of the Beach [Digipak]
1. King of the Beach
2. Super Soaker
4. When Will You Come
5. Post Acid
6. Take on the World
7. Baseball Cards
8. Convertible Balloon
9. Green Eyes
10. Mickey Mouse
11. Linus Spacehead
12. Baby Say Goodbye
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 12242
Kyle 'Slick' Johnson
Personnel: Nathan Williams (vocals, guitar, keyboards, vibraphone, drum machine, percussion, programming); Billy Hayes (drums).
Audio Mixers: Kyle "Slick" Johnson; Dennis Herring.
Recording information: Sweet Tea Recording, Oxford, Mississippi.
Editors: Michael Stout; Will Cole.
Snotty and self-loathing as ever, even after catching a huge updraft of success, Wavves' 2010 outing finds indie rock's Edward Furlong, aka Nathan Williams, in an actual hi-fi studio. Teamed with Counting Crow/Modest Mouse producer Dennis Herring, who approached Williams after a show, King of the Beach finds the overnight blog sensation in a cleaned-up setting. With more recording toys at his disposal, he takes more risks, showing a new dimension to his stoned mind as he breaks away from muddy skate punk and tries his hand at some dense psychedelia. The sunny "Take on the World" takes a Beulah approach, and "Baseball Cards" finds Williams experimenting with chillwave, complete with weird Ween Quebec-era synths. Of course, Williams is at his best when he's rocking to the beat of his punk heroes the Descendents or Adolescents, and with Jay Reatard's former bandmates Billy Hayes and Stephen Pope by his side, "Super Soaker," "Idiot," and "Post Acid" are among Wavves' thrashin' best. In this glossy well-mixed setting, the songs are more penetrable than the ones on the 2009 homemade outings Wavves and Wavvves. "I'm so Bored," despite being fantastic, was leveled out by so much tape distortion that it took a dedicated ear to cut through the muck and find the melody. King of the Beach is less abrasive, but it's still a wildly messy pastiche. Wavves sometimes gets carried away --"Neon Balloon" and its sea of synth gurgles and helium vocals is near silly -- but when Williams finds his stride and carves the tube of punky psych sonics, the results are totally awesome. ~ Jason Lymangrover
Spin - 4 stars out of 5 -- "KING OF THE BEACH's specialty is Warped Tour-ready choruses, charred with noise and peppered with lyrics from a self-hating surfer teen who sees sunburn as spiritual penance for being a burnout."
Alternative Press (p.116) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Williams' gift for melody, harmonies and choruses rise above the hiss of laptop speakers....[A] devilishly fun listen..."
Billboard (p.28) - "In addition to its fast-paced punk tunes, KING OF THE BEACH also features a handful of mellow tracks with shimmering guitar lines and Brian Wilson-esque vocal layering..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.106) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Buzzing wide-eyed and joyful throughout, WAVVES blends the sand and girls fixation of early BEACH BOYS with frizzled Phil Spector pop..."
Paste (magazine) - "[T]he album is saturated with high poly-harmonies, fingersnaps and hand claps..."
Uncut (magazine) (p.108) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his set deals -- albeit fleetingly -- with actual relationships, as well as Williams' own demons."
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