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Album Review
Life Sux

Life Sux
by Wavves


Review Date
4th October 2011
Reviewed by
Luke Merson

The pop-polished Wavves album King of the Beach was one of 2010’s most impressive musical statements. Williams managed to tone down his distortion and still manage to smash out a set of catchy, lyrically bleak tunes. Life Sux EP is Wavves first release on his new label Ghostramp. This 6 song EP sees Wavves slightly developing their musical content, whilst displaying some of the artistic freedom King of the Beach’s success has entitled them to. Releasing Life Sux on Ghostramp has also allowed Wavves to include a few of his friends from Best Coast and Fucked Up on a couple of songs. These guests add new depth to William’s typical surf-sprayed drone.

The EP opens with Bug, a track fed to Youtube during Wavves’ last tour with Best Coast. The first notable thing is that the bright, King of the Beach guitars have stuck around on this EP. Another enduring quality is William’s powerfully down and out lyrical viewpoint. Whilst King of the Beach was undeniably catchy, credit has to be given to William’s honest, angst ridden portrayal of young adulthood. Bug powers through dark verses about a guy who’s “no fun, you’re no fun, you’re just dumb.” Seems that things remain pretty black and white for Wavves, either you’re in or you’re out.

“I wanna be Dave Grohl” contains the EP’s strangest chorus, with William’s eventually saying he wants “to be Dave Grohl.” Quirky chorus aside, the song starts as most Wavves songs do, with William’s feeling crappy. “I can’t live/with my mistakes.” Cheerful guitar moves in over the top of the usual Wavves skuz guitar. William’s amazing ability to disguise his sinister outlook with beach pop rhythm makes this song one of the EP’s strongest songs.

“Destroy” features members of Fucked Up, notably Damian Abraham on Vocals. Whilst the song might fulfil some fan fantasies, it doesn’t seem to do justice to either party. William’s vocals seem somewhat out of kilter with the music and unfortunately it turns out to be the weakest track on the EP. The other guest appearance, by Best Coast’s Beth Cosentino produces the stunning song, “Nodding Off”. The union of William’s and Cosentino’s vocals during the refrains of “God’s been nodding off” are an album highlight.

The standout song of Life Sux, and most promising for Wavves’ next album, is “Poor Lenore”. A heavy, Nirvana-like guitar riff thumps alongside William’s perfectly balanced vocals. The rhythm leading into the chorus builds tension and sets William’s ode to Lenore off like a firecracker. The album closes with a live recording of In the Sand, a song that would have nestled in nicely among King of the Beach’s twelve songs.

From time to time a true king needs to reassure his people that his throne is still well earned; that his kingdom remains safe. Whilst the Life Sux EP won’t likely blow any minds, it’s certainly enough to stave off any competitors until Wavves next full release at the end of this year. Long live the King of the Beach.


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