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Album Review

Wavves – V

Wavves - V

A storming return to the form that has always served the group so well.

Label: Caroline
Released: 2nd October 2015

Rating: ★★★★★

It might have been two years since Wavves released ‘Afraid Of Heights’, but with Nathan Williams’ never-ending list of side-projects, the band has remained at the top of their game. Following the release of a collaborative album with Cloud Nothings earlier this year, ‘V’ is a storming return to the form that has always served the group so well.

Their most collaborative record to date, ‘V’ is a swirling mix of attitude, infectious hooks, and scream-your-heart-out choruses. Down and out of luck, the songs own up to issues of youthful angst with a casual honesty, letting loose like it’s the only thing that matters. Broke? Depressed? Hungover? Bored? ‘V’ is a driving force of exhilaration out of the most downbeat emotions.

Album opener ‘Heavy Metal Detox‘ is as refreshingly intoxicating as a hair of the dog remedy. The lyrical defeatism of ‘Way Too Much’ is combatted by the track’s explosive energy. ‘Pony’ is a life-affirming rush of anthemic choruses and spiralling guitars. ‘Flamezesz’ rages with an all-engulfing dynamism, whilst ‘Cry Baby’ sees the band both at their quaintest and at their most raucously punk.

Nathan Williams’ vocals sit at the forefront of surging refrains and barraging rhythms, reassuring through anxious lyrics with a crisp, clear confidence. Layered guitar refrains surge and blaze amidst a haze of reverb and distortion, all driven by an unfailing sense of exhilaration. “You could do anything you wanted to,” the words echo on ‘Heart Attack’. With this album as the soundtrack, you can be ready to take on the world.

From start to finish the record is fuelled by a tightly-honed sense of frenzy. The internal chaos of the lyrics is instinctively complimented by the album’s resoundingly chaotic refrains. When disorder takes hold, ‘V’ offers the solution: ride the waves until you land exhilarated on the other side. Jessica Goodman