One man projects have a way of becoming bands. Nathan Williams started the Wavves, a lo-fi Surf Punk concept with the release of a self-titled album in '08. That created a bit of a buzz for the follow-up, less than a year later, "Wavvves" (with the added "v").
Having assembled a band, Williams and company toured. But it all hit the fan in Barcelona at the '09 Primavera Sound Festival. Fueled by a combination of ecstasy and Valium, Williams fought with drummer Ryan Ulsh. That stuff happens - especially when drugs are involved. However, he crossed the line when he started insulting the crowd. Not liking his attitude, the Spanish audience began pelting him with bottles and other trash.
Admitting the obvious the next day, Williams said he was addicted to alcohol. The remainder of the European tour was cancelled. And as might be expected, Ulsh left the group, replaced in the short-term by Zach Hill and for the long-term by Billy Hayes, formerly of Jay Reatard's band. Also joining from the late Reatard's outfit was bassist Stephen Pope.
During the summer of '10 (August) the Wavves issued "King Of The Beach." The set landed on the College Radio Top 10 Albums list and a couple "best albums of the year" surveys - 24th by Spin, and 50th by Pitchfork.
The single "Post Acid" was featured in a cartoon called: "Scott Pilgrim vs. the Animation." "Take On The World" and "When Will You Come?" were used to promote the MTV series Awkward, a comedy-drama series about the life of 16-year-old struggling with her identity, especially after an accident is misconstrued as a suicide attempt.
After the "King Of The Beach" supporting tour Hayes left in November '10 and was replaced by Jacob Cooper, formerly of The Mae Shi.
The six-song EP, "Life Sux," dropped in '11 and featured contributions by Bethany Cosentino and Bob Bruno from Best Coast.
Cooper's tenure was not a long one. Alex Gates took over the guitar duties in '12.
Two years after "Life Sux," the full-length "Afraid Of Heights" arrived. The Wavves fourth studio album peaked at #81 on the Billboard 200, their highest chart position to date. The second single, "Demon To Lean On," climbed to #36 on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart. The group also performed the song during their network TV debut on the Late Show with David Letterman.
The track "Nine Is God" was an exclusive for the video game Grand Theft Auto V. Building on that relationship, the Wavves contributed to "Welcome To Los Santos," a collaboration consisting of musicians featured in Grand Theft Auto V. The album was later added to the game soundtrack.
Having parked their video game involvement for the time being, the Wavves issued their fifth album, appropriately titled "V," in '15. It contained the tracks, "Way Too Much," "Flamezesz," "My Head Hurts" and "Heavy Metal Detox."
2010 King Of The Beach
2011 Life-Sux EP
2013 Afraid Of Heights
"King Of The Beach" marks a significant improvement over previous efforts and further refines the group's Surf-Punk sound.
"Afraid Of Heights" builds on the foundation provided by "King Of The Beach." That's most evident on the title track and "Demon To Lean On." The album is laced with SoCal lyrical and musical touchstones.