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Wavves - Hideaway Music Album Reviews

Wavves - Hideaway Music Album Reviews
Working with producer Dave Sitek, Nathan Williams returns with another mixed bag of combative rock songs that are straightforward to a fault.

It’s been a long time since indie rock produced a lightning rod like Nathan Williams. Although the Wavves frontman has mellowed out since his breakout year in 2009, when the music press eagerly documented every canceled show, on-stage meltdown, and verbal or physical altercation, he remains a uniquely contentious figure, whether he’s baiting Trump supporters or burning bridges with Warner after a stint on the label that was almost preordained to end poorly. Most recently he outed himself as a landlord, giving his detractors a new tag to taunt him with. A story about a musician leasing apartments might have bounced off most artists. Williams, however, has always had a gift for making bad press stick.

Williams’ combative tendencies carry through his music. Wavves’ eighth album Hideaway opens with three consecutive rippers about cutting toxic presences out of your life—most specifically, toxic people. “I don’t want your dark cloud around me,” he sneers on the title track. On “Thru Hell” he decries the “hideous people” pointing fingers at him. “I gotta get away from the things that bring me pain,” he vows on “Help Is on the Way.” It’s a declaration of self-care, but there’s some axe-grinding there, too.

After a couple of major label albums and a self-released 2017 LP, Hideaway marks Wavves’ return to Fat Possum, the label that released the two records Williams will be remembered for: 2009’s scuzzy Wavvves and 2010’s pop-punk reinvention King of the Beach, the high-water mark that all of its successors are measured against. Hideaway abides by the same rules as every Wavves record: When it’s generous with volume and tempo, as on its brisk opening run, it’s a kick. When it slows down, it drags. This band’s songs always fare best with a running start; the depressive doo-wop of “Honeycomb” and the twinkling ballad “Caviar” don’t get one.

Producer Dave Sitek, of TV on the Radio, assumed a fairly hands-on role, co-writing several songs and contributing guitar or synth to others. He adds density and texture to these tracks, most of it welcome. “The Blame” in particular pops with period detail, playing like a jaunty country exercise right out of a Monkees record. If anything, Hideaway could have benefited from a little more studio interference: Williams’ songwriting is so economical it leaves a lot of room for color around the margins. “Planting a Garden” conjures the chime-and-churn of the Posies’ grungiest records, but it begs for a little more alt-rock punch—the guitars never bite as viciously as Williams’ lyrics.

Of course, nobody comes to a Wavves record for the production. This band lives or dies by its hooks, and in truth most of Hideaway’s are only OK. They’re straightforward to a fault, and short on those small, sometimes barely even perceptible deviations from expectation that distinguish a sublime hook from a routine one. Williams’ greatest strength and weakness as a songwriter is that he always follows the path of least resistance. But a decade into his career, that approach has created a trap: Try too hard and it sounds forced; recycle the same tricks and there’s nothing new to see.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Wavves - Hideaway Music Album Reviews Wavves - Hideaway Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Monday, July 26, 2021 Rating: 5

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