Surf / garage punks Wavves (Alex Gates – guitar and vocals, Brian Hill – drums and vocals, Stephen Pope – bass and vocals, Nathan Winters – guitar and lead vocals) make no bones about what they think of their new record. It’s entitled You’re Welcome. It’s their gift to us, and we should be thankful for it.
Opener “Daisy” is all about wanting to make it with a cute girl, and the title track right after is an uplifting track. Both are fuzzy and catchy and just the kind of carefree rock we need in these turbulent times. The opening distortion on “No Shade” breaks into a wicked performance by the rhythm section and rips past you faster than a cute girl ignoring you as she runs late to the bus station.
“Million Enemies” has Wavves not caring about forces conspiring against them. “I got enemies, a million enemies; but, baby, I’m feelin’ fine.” The guitar solo on it is a great, squeaky mess. I’m sure this song generates a lot of call-back singing when they play it live. The bass on “Hollowed Out” is downright funky, and “Come to the Valley” is a love letter to Wavves southern California neighborhood. “Animal” has more great bass work, and “Stupid in Love” is a great title for a Wavves song because it sums up many of the themes in their work so well. Wavves have always crafted catchy songs about the weirdness of love and attraction, and this fun pop-punk track is a prime example of their knack for such tunes.
“Exercise” isn’t so much about physical activity as it is about exercising your right to protest. Lyrics like “Dancing while the world is burning down,” “I can’t believe the shit they feed to us,” and “They’re lying to our face.” only reinforce the belief. “Under” is about how love can drag us down if we hold onto it too tight. “Close your eyes, I’ll be whatever you want me to be…It builds until I can’t take it. It bends and then you break it.”
“Dream of Grandeur” is about the hopes of a new relationship and quickly realizing those hopes were pipe dreams, and it’s appropriate that an album so heavy on themes of love and strange relationships ends with a track entitled “I Love You.” It’s also appropriate that it sounds like a 1950’s jukebox favorite love song with its vocal harmonies and guitar strumming.
You’re Welcome is probably the most fun record about the weird world of love I’ve heard all year. Thank them for it if you get the chance.
Keep your mind open.
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