Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Wavves Afraid of Heights & Show # 456
Wavves started as a recording project by Nathan Williams in 2008. The band put out some early recordings and two full length albums (Wavves in 2008 and Wavvves in 2009) on Fat Possum Records, the band then gained recognition. In 2010, they released their third full length album, a well received album by critics in which the band brought in more of a 90s Rock influence, serving as a different sound album sonically than their first two full length albums which leaned to the Lo-Fi scuzzy realm of production. With 2013’s Afraid of Heights, Wavves now Nathan Williams with bassist Stephen Pope (formerly bassist with Jay Reatard) expand their sound once again sonically working with producer John Hill who has worked with artists such as Nas, Santogold, M.I.A, but don’t let that scare you away from this album it still sounds like a Wavves album.
Afraid of Heights still has reflections of the bands previous sounds and influences, while at the same time new elements have been added to the bands already established sound. The bands brand of slacker Stoner Rock themed songs are still evident here, but they also branch out into other lyrical subject matter such as cops, paranoia and insomnia. “Sail To The Sun” opens the album in a fashion similar to songs found on 2010’s King Of The Beach addressing the same slacker subject matter that they have been known for with lyrics such as “I’m gonna pick you up in my arms/Give you all of my love/Soon enough it flies by/First we gotta get high and sail to the sun”, while at the same time having characteristically darker lyrics “We’ll all die along/Just as we lived”. “Demons To Lean On” comes in next another song that along with “Sail To The Sun” was released prior to the album for fans to hear. This song has echoes of Nirvana circa 1991, while at the same time retaining something else, like all Wavves songs do that makes them sound influenced by the 90s and different at the same time. Some of the different directions Wavves takes on this album are best exemplified in songs such as the fuzzy Psychedelics of “Mystics”, the acoustic and bass heavy “Dog” “Everything’s My Fault” and “I Can’t Dream” which ends the album in a full circle fashion. On “I Can’t Dream” the song features Lo-Fi elements which the band first displayed on their first two full length albums, at the same time it shows their new sense of direction as the song picks up.
“That’s On Me” is an example of John Hill’s production expanding Wavves usual Lo-Fi sound with his production abilities. The album has several songs that lean more to the bands Punk influences this can be heard on songs such as “Paranoid”, “Cop” and “Beat Me Up”, while it also mixes in their Pop and Surf influences. There is a line in the song “Lunge Forward” that goes “None of you will ever understand me/None of you will ever understand/Lunge forward”, which exemplifies the bands intentions on this album, if you didn’t pick that up from the title. Williams doesn’t need to explain himself, he just needs to do his own thing. This album still has Williams self deprecating, caustic, dark and at times satirical lyrical depth, it ventures into new valleys in terms of production and musical experimentation. Afraid of Heights exemplifies Wavves attempt to take their Lo-Fi scuzzy, Surf, Grunge sounds to new heights beyond their humble Lo-Fi beginnings, even if that frightens some people.
This Week's Play List:
1. Guided By Voices – Crybaby 4 Star Hotel
2. The Flaming Lips – Butterfly, How Long It Takes To Die
3. The Thermals – Where I Stand
4. Mudhoney - I Don`t Remember You
5. Jay Sad – Home
6. The Highest Order – Sacred Team
7. Timbre Timbre – Demon Host
8. Mikal Cronin – Better Man
9. King Khan – Strange Way
10. Hank Davis – One Way
11. The Cramps – Domino
12. Actual Water – Dandelion Sun
13. Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs – What Have I Become
14. Light Bulb Alley – Long Time Coming
15. The Vores – Forget That Guy
16. The Misfits – Return Of The Fly
17. Wavves – Sail To The Sun
18. Wavves – Paranoid
19. The Oblivians – I’ll Be Gone
20. Paul Jacobs – Kitchen Floor
21. The Black Lips – Cruising
22. The Vibrators – Judy Says (Knock You In The Head)
23. Devo - Come Back Jonee (Live Minneapolis, 1978)
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for May 14. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.