Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wavves - Wavvves

Release Date: February 3, 2009

What the fuck is up with this recording? Is that a guitar or a collection of grinding gears? Are those backing vocals or a recording of a girl drowning?

Back in the 80’s and early 90’s, lo-fi made sense. Recording studios were expensive. Smaller bands and record labels were having difficulty putting records out on a tight budget. Enter the 4-track cassette recorder, which was already being used for demos for quite some time before artists like Daniel Johnston, Pavement, and Guided By Voices recorded entire albums using it. A creative and cheap way for an artist's music to reach the masses.

But this was 2009. Artists are putting out quality sounding songs and records with as little as a laptop and a USB mic. And Wavves, signed to a label like Fat Possum, could have afforded to up the studio production. This puts Wavvves in the category of “lo-fi for aesthetic purposes.” And this isn't just lo-fi, Wavvves just might be the lousiest quality of record I have ever heard. Challenging listeners with this shitty of a recording for artistic purposes is something I lack patience for -- it’s literally too much work to work my way past all the fuzz.

But if you can work your way past the fuzz you’ll hear a few good tracks. "Beach Demon," "So Bored," and "No Hope Kids" bring to mind a mix of Nirvana’s punk rock and pop, and Guided by Voices lo-fi sensibilities, but when I listen I can’t help but think what if. What if Fat Possum sent Nathan Williams to a cheap studio to re-record Wavvves how good it could have potentially been.

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