Wavves – You’re Welcome (Released 19th May)

£19.99 – LP

the word ‘brat’ has followed nathan williams around for almost a decade, but at the age of 30, with a fully-fledged business to his name, as well as the ongoing success of band wavves, his rebellious streak has proven not just purposeful but pretty damn inspiring.

the san diego native knows how to play the system, so when the major labels came knocking a few years ago looking to turn wavves into the next so-called saviours of radio rock’n’roll, williams and bassist stephen pope made sure they used it to their advantage. the album was put together wholly differently from their previous record ‘v’, too, which was recorded live as a band album together with guitarist alex gates, drummer brian hill and stephen in the studio. ‘you’re welcome’ is mostly comprised of williams’ oddball, sample-led brainstorms. he came up with 40 tracks, now whittled down to twelve, fat-free punk zingers. “i’d come up with an idea, fool around with it, have brian come in and play drums, then figure it out.” a sample nerd, williams delved into his obsession with 1950s doo-wop and – surprisingly – international folk, including cambodian pop and ’70’s psychedelia from south america. the results make for one of the most diverse and intricate wavves records yet. ‘come to the valley’ contains a phil spector meets beach boys ’60s high school dance vibe, whereas title track ‘you’re welcome’ riffs on sound effects that could almost originate from bizarro world, never mind cambodia. some of his ideas ran away with themselves a little too much, as williams reveals one track was a little too close to drake’s ‘hotline bling’ for comfort. the biggest shift of all, and the ultimate laying down of the gauntlet to williams’ doubters, is the subject matter. where ‘v’ was a “buzzkill” record, all hangovers, lovers’ tiffs and depression, ‘you’re welcome’ is less navel-gazing. it’s dealing with matters outside of williams’ own headspace. “i’m tired of writing about myself,” says williams. “it got boring. on this record i tell more stories, talk about parts of my life from other people’s perspective.” ‘stupid in love’ for instance is about a female junkie who lived near him back in san diego. ‘animal’ is his anti-corporate, anti-establishment track. “the whole world covered in gasoline and burning alive/i feel taken advantage of and empty inside” go the lyrics.

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