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Music To Skate To: Wavves

By Andres Pachon

A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.


Nathan Williams – vocals, guitar (2008–present)

Stephen 'Stevie' Pope – bass guitar, backing vocals (2009–present)

Alex Gates – guitar, backing vocals (2011–present)

Formed back in 2008, in San Diego CA, Wavves is definitely a band you want to listen to if you are into chill but punkish vibes, because that's exactly what you are going to get when you listen to these guys. You are in for the mellowest back up voices to almost guttural screams from singer-songwriter Nathan Williams. If we could describe the experience this band gives you in a brief sentence you could imagine already being smashed and getting a feeling that you want to go out and ride your skateboard and break some stuff but also hug a tree at the same time. Strange combo, I know.

The band has had a few changes in their line up as well as some controversy since the beginning of their European and US tours when drunken and party incidents among some members of the band caused them to not be able to finish a performance and eventually canceling the rest of their First European tour.






It is still a hell of a ride to listen to some of their early and new stuff as well! Their first self entitled LP “Wavves” gained recognition after having a few cassettes and 7 inches, their early work is described as pop-punk, due to the amount of melody mixed with angst and really weird and trippy electronic samples and guitar distortions influenced greatly by bands like Sonic Youth, the melody fluctuates delivering a very will crafted surf rock/grunge/punk thing that we are still not able to pinpoint. If you are really into some stoner-beach-punk rock, Wavves have the perfect SHIT® for you!

Nihilism, Hope, Booze, and hard guitars will have you jumping up and down and getting as much speed as possible on that board of yours. The band is very consistent and unique in its own way, you can hear influences from many other artists but the classic almost jingle belly intros from this band will always have you knowing that it's them you are listening to.

Bad breakups and the general questions of mere existence and its definite lack of substance in a desperate money fuelled world are some of the topics these guys will spill their guts on, not before making it sound like it's no big deal, that it doesn't really matter! Get your board, hit the beach, and enjoy a sunny California day with your friends!

Both “Wavves” and their third official release “King of the Beach” have been labeled by Pitchfork as “best new album” and the band has also had critical praise from Spin and The A.V. Club on their early work.

The overall mood of the bands discography will take you through Nathan’s state of mind and his always unique way of expressing how “the world sucks”.

Some of the highlights from some of their most famous work so far that probably is “King of the Beach” could be "Post Acid" which has a trippy vibe and also has one of the first music videos where you can clearly see how crazy these guys were back in 2010 when this SHITwas released. Hilarious graphics and a skateboard challenge against an ALIEN, yeah these guys were really showcasing the full on California skater vibes! at 5:07 the 3rd track of the album “Idiot” will deliver you a full on giggle attack from the boys to burst into heavy guitars and Natan telling you how he wants to “go surfing in his mind”, you can never miss a good love song and "Green Eyes" is definitely one that your chick will enjoy since you're totally telling her that your friends are not as important as her, and finally coming down with "Baby Say Goodbye" which is the closing track of the album with an almost 5 minute psychedelic outro of the guys literally waving you goodbye with their sounds, this album is a 37 minute ride through California and back!


Definitely 4 stars out of 5!

Coming of age

Photo:Mark Cruz (Unsplash)

Waves have been doing music for over 10 years now and currently postponed the “King of the Beach 10 Year Anniversary Tour” due to current world events (were talking to you ‘Rona) but they are optimistic to be back on stages by October 2020. The latest release of the band and their sixth studio album “You're Welcome” was dropped in 2017, the gig fails to get the same vibes their early work has, but you can't really blame them being a bunch of dudes that started in their early 20’s 10 years ago, which takes a lot of punk points from them, but hey! They still got it, catchy lyrics with feely good vibes telling the world to fuck off. Awesome.

If you really want to get into Wavves you should definitely listen to some of their early stuff especially “King of the Beach” this album will get you on your board and do some stupid SHIT® you have not tried before like that rail that's been killing you, they will give you the strength for you to tell yourself “ugh, what the hell, we are all going to die anyway”.

In the words of Nathan “I'm dancing while the world is burning down” this pop punk fantasy will never get old especially if you enjoy the hard driven punk tunes while on your board.


Read also: Anthony Mosley: Mixing Money, Music and Skateboarding

Read also: Musical Evolution Within Skateboarding



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