Sizzling sounds of indie-punk rock
Upon first hearing Wavves’ new album, one might think that it sounds familiar. It has the same flavor as a late aughts indie rock, one that graced the soundtracks of movies like Scott Pilgrim (their song “Pop Acid” was featured in an Adult Swim Scott Pilgrim animation promo video, and it fit in perfectly). The songs are nostalgic in that way, as they create a sound that feels like indie rock but with a punkish flair. Hideaway is the band’s seventh studio album. The band established itself in 2008, hence their late 2000’s indie sound.
Four drumstick beats introduce the album in the first song, “Thru Hell,” which leads into that sweet indie-punk sound that the late 2000s craved. The vocals are light and slightly echoey. The sounds of quick electric guitar finalize the song before leading into the title track, “Hideaway.” This track, perhaps a bit more angry, layers together vocals, punk-influenced guitar, drums and a hint of screaming. The lyrics seem to represent the balance between optimism and pessimism. They shout out, “the field looks so pretty, but it’s covered in land mines,” while also reminding the listener that “today can be anything I want it to be.” It perfectly recognizes the destruction and angst of living in this world while also trying to find a way to cut out all the excess negativity.
Some of the songs are super catchy and are positively radiant. The indie-punk sound that people find so enjoyable somehow finds a way to be sad while sounding happy. It’s uplifting, lighthearted and, simply put, sunny. This sound is maintained throughout the album but is used in different ways, whether it’s to express sorrow or elevation. The song “Sinking Feeling” sounds bright and elevated. “Honeycomb” will certainly be a favorite, as it starts off with a bright guitar strum before leading into a heartfelt tune.
“The Blame” has a slightly different sound than the songs that precede it. It features a fast-paced guitar solo towards the end that really ties the song together. While it still features a certain indie-rock nature with the lighter-toned vocals, it shifts a bit with the guitar. It may or may not have a tinge of country, but not enough to change the genre.
The album ends off with “Planting A Garden,” which is a delightful little tune that is over far too quickly. It’s short and intense, with lyrics that bring the listener into the song or “Suzy’s garden.” The final song, “Caviar,” is like a warm, end-of-summer hug. It’s slower than the rest of the songs, dripping notes and oozes slowly like sticky caramel. While caramel may be, at times, sickeningly sweet, the song leaves the album on a slightly bittersweet note with its tone and lyrics.
Wavves’ Hideaway should certainly not be hidden away from listeners this summer. It’s a refreshing glass of something cold on a particularly hot day, with a touch of nostalgia. Its classic indie-punk sound might be the perfect soundtrack for the summer.