I was introduced to Wavves through their new album, Afraid of Heights, and was immediately won over by their fuzzed out, psychedelic sound and their instantly catchy melodies. There is a straightforwardness to Wavves’ music that is at some points extremely appealing and at others a bit of a disappointment. What Afraid of Heights has are 13 songs about weed, self-loathing and paranoia that gets by on the sheer amount of energy packed into each track. This is the kind of album that you can put on in your room and flail around to because each track is tailor made to get you pumped up. It’s a fun album, even if it’s nothing that you haven’t heard before.
Afraid of Heights starts off with a definite bang. The first four tracks, especially “Demon to Lean On” and “Lunge Forward”, explode with energy making them the catchiest and most exciting tracks on the album. Unfortunately, Wavves can’t quite keep the energy up through the entire album, which leads to a bit of drag in the middle. This would be more of a problem if most of the tracks in the middle weren’t so short, but, due to the brevity, one hardly notices that the middle tracks aren’t quite as much fun as the rest of the album. That is, until “Everything Is My Fault”. This is the track where things begin to wear on you. It’s slow, sluggish and a bore to sit through, even at just over two and a half minutes. Luckily, Wavves brings it all back with “That’s On Me” and “Gimme a Knife”, both of which bring back the strong, catchy melodies and energy that made the beginning of the album such a joy.
Wavves is at their best when they keep things simple, letting their strong ear for melody combine with their infectious energy with explosive results. If they can find a way to sustain their energy over a whole album, things would work out much better or them. But with Afraid of Heights, one must settle for a handful of great songs, with a big helping of filler. It’s still a fun album and definitely worth a listen.
Highlights- “Demon To Lean On”, “Lunge Forward”, “Gimme a Knife”
RIYL- Weezer, Japandroids, Cloud Nothings
Listen to “Lunge Forward” below: