Wavves, Afraid of Heights

Andrew Parks

By Andrew Parks

on 03.26.13 in Reviews

Afraid Of Heights


The self-proclaimed “king of the beach” doesn’t relinquish his crown on Afraid of Heights, but he does seem in serious danger of losing his mind. Not that you’d notice immediately, what with the way Nathan Williams masks his melancholy with sunstroked hooks and hummable melodies. It’s when you listen to what he’s saying that dude’s dark side emerges. We’re not talking simple woe-is-me love songs, either. More like an unhealthy obsession with death and demons — personal and otherwise — coupled with bummertown references to just how hopeless the Wavves generation is. “Demon to Lean On” is a perfect example; while it’s arguably the most accessible track on the album, its chorus is the uplifting “holding a gun to my head/ so send me an angel/ or bury me deeply instead.” Don’t get caught singing along to that one in your bedroom, kids! Elsewhere, Williams tells us he’s going insane (“Gimme a Knife”), that he’s “fucked and alone” (the title track) and, in “I Can’t Dream,” that he’s in need of a mind eraser like the machine in that one good Jim Carrey movie. Every last mopey moment goes down nice and smooth, however, helped in part by former Jay Reatard bassist Stephen Pope, who’s now a full-time member of Wavves on stage and in the studio. Great stuff, but someone get this guy some Prozac!