Label: Fat Possum Records
Lost amidst the drama of Nathan Williams' public breakdown in Barcelona this summer was the fact that his band, Wavves put out one of the better releases of the year. The youthful, obnoxious Wavvves was just like its main creator, Williams-- a symbolic portrait, if you will. Brash, bold and a bit odd, the album is a ball of energy, the likes of which were rarely seen in 2009. Combining noise, surf rock and lo-fi will probably do that.
Seemingly bouncing off the walls, Wavvves careens into everything it sees, an echoing and distant attack on itself that is fascinating to listen to as it unfolds in front of you. Its lo-fi elements simply work to cloud the obvious-- that Williams is shredding through his life-- something that ended up being a fair representation of his life at the time of the album's release. Wavvves never appears dangerous, so much as it just makes you a bit nervous every once in awhile. It continually teeters on edge, plays games with its own emotions and sparks its own fits of rage. Yet, throughout all of that, you are still compelled to listen for those bright moments of clarity, which in fact, do happen from time-to-time as well. As much as Wavvves can appear to be an out-of-control carnival ride at many junctures, its final result is one of simple, short victory, even if it is wrapped in enough fuzz to drown some listeners.
Best Track: "Beach Demon"
[Previously on Animal Noises: Best Albums of 2009: #16, Mew's No More Stories...]