Archive for August 2013

Wavves -- Afraid of Heights

Or maybe, “Afraid of a Tattoo That You’ll Probably Regret Later” . . .

Just to get one thing out of the way, in case you haven’t previously heard of the band Wavves: no, that’s not a typo. It’s just got two v’s in it. And if you like that, you’ll love the title of their 2009 album, Wavvves. The word even looks like a series of waves (the kind with one “v”).

But on to the song, which I really had intended to be a New Music Monday entry, but today is Thursday. So New Music Thursday it is…

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You often hear descriptions of songs as being “x meets y” — say, “Johnny Rotten meets Chopin.” Which now that I think of it, I’d really like to hear. But today’s song, “Sail to the Sun,” from Wavves’ most recent album, Afraid of Heights (released earlier this year), is a song where it almost literally sounds like one artist meets another. In this case, it’s Brian Wilson meeting the Buzzcocks. Initially, we hear Brian and the Beach Boys doing their pretty musical-interlude thing, along the lines of something from Smile. But then, about 35 seconds in, there’s a knocking at the door. Brian says, “Hold on guys, I should get this,” and ambles over to the door. (Because Brian Wilson doesn’t rush anywhere; if something’s worthwhile, it’ll still be there after he’s ambled over to it, dammit!) He pulls open the door at 42 seconds, and wham! It’s Pete Shelley and the Buzzcocks on his doorstep, with all their instruments and speakers set up. Pete says, “Oy, Bri, we’re the Buzzcocks. Lovely to meet you.” And they launch into a searing, full-throttle punk-pop concoction, better known here as the main part of “Sail to the Sun.” A minute or so later, Pete Shelley pauses to ask, “And have you met our mates Weezer?”

So now that you know how Afraid of Heights starts off, it’s up to you to take a listen to the rest of what is certainly a candidate for a position on numerous Best Albums of 2013 lists. You might just think it’s vvery groovvy. Not to mention that you’ll get to hear Nirvana meet Oasis on a song about being a dog.

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