How lo-fi is too lo-fi? The answer to that question is provided by Wavves’ second LP ‘Wavvves’ which is basically the sound of car alarms farting. This is a classic example of talent seriously hampered by limited funds. Let’s focus away from the recording quality for a bit. All I can say is, Wavves have huge potential as writers of rollicking indie rock songs, bouncing around like a kangaroo high on pixie sticks; it has a weird high-sugar energy to it, but at times it can be weirdly psychedelic and hypnotic like on ‘Sun Opens My Eyes’ which sounds like waking up to find yourself covered in sunburn. ‘Gun In The Sun’ has a killer melody and would sound like a brilliant spacey rock song if it didn’t… well… In essence, ‘Wavvves’ is a really good record full of weirdly good songs that take up residence in your brain and crash around in there for ages, but it sounds like it was recorded on a kid’s boom box at the bottom of a volcano to the point that the songs are just barely enjoyable anymore. All the high-end vocals sound like they were howled by dogs midway through the physical sterilisation process, whereas all the low-end vocals sound like a man singing at the end of a phone line with his mobile in his pocket. The guitars are just as unpleasant. This must be what Superchunk must sound like encoded at 8kbps.
There is good news however! Wavves got hold of some better (actual) recording equipment and made a great record after this one called ‘King Of The Beach’ which I really recommend. With the case of ‘Wavvves’ though, you’re bound to be disappointed. The melodies and the songs are all there, but they’re lost in mudslides.
Key Track: Sun Opens My Eyes
Listen to this: Running on a beach