Nathan Williams’ lyrical outlook hasn’t brightened in the three years since Wavves’ last LP King Of The Beach. Song titles on Afraid Of Heights include ‘Paranoid’, ‘Beat Me Up’, ‘Everything Is My Fault’ and ‘Gimme A Knife’, and two tracks in we’ve already heard him sing “we’re probably just dumb … the truth is that it hurts / and what’s it really worth?” But if the loping angst and isolation that was dotted through the earlier album has here crystallised into something truly depressed, it’s countered by an equally developed sense of melody, and music that sounds hugely alive. The result is a set of instantly-energising rock’n'roll powered by some truly epic nihilism.
A surprising number of people arrived early at the Oxford Art Factory to catch Sydney-based support act Sures – testament to a band who are turning heads, racking up Facebook likes and effectively carving a path to indie-pop stardom. With an abundance of support shows under their belt, including a triple j Unearthed slot at this year’s Laneway Festival, the band members, who couldn’t be much older than 19, seemed comfortable playing to a half-packed OAF. If you were to pigeonhole their music in the surf-pop resurgence, you wouldn’t be too far off; their playful, polished pop songs proved to be a hit with the few hundred Wavves enthusiasts.
There really are few artists around today that embody the spirit of rock’n’roll quite like Nathan Williams, leader of noisy surf rockers Wavves. With his constantly fuzzy guitar, party lifestyle and onstage meltdown history, Williams has attracted many followers (I’m looking directly at you, Bleeding Knees Club) – but could he be turning his back on the guitar in favour of a beat machine?
WAVES, MAGIC KIDS Up against Belle & Sebastian and Joanna Newsom in an event-filled Sydney night, the Wavves show at Manning seemed like an easy choice for anyone looking for music that didn’t require the wearing of decorative scarves and nodding sympathetically over Murakami novels. But when I got to the door, there was a [...]
Wavves King Of The Beach By Nathan Jolly Nathan Williams is awfully prolific for an artist who has the term ‘slacker’ attached to his every movement. Under the moniker Wavves, he’s cranked out three albums of vaguely surfy, vaguely skatey pop in under three years, in addition to a bunch of impressively regular standalone singles. [...]