It’s been an unusually chilly and ridiculously gloomy summer in San Francisco but the lo-fi, garage, surf punks in Wavves ushered in a bonafide sunny summer day when they played an instore at Amoeba SF yesterday. The band’s youth-addled fans cascaded from the outer reaches of the world music section all the way to shore break at the front of the stage, staring with mouths agape when they weren’t singing along to their new summer anthems.
The San Diego-based band is touring behind their new release King of the Beach, which is the third Wavves album but the first featuring the current lineup of o.g. creator and front man Nathan Williams (guitar/vox), Stephen Pope (bass), and Billy Hayes (drums). Williams has slightly refined the slacker self-loathing he imperfectly trumpeted on Wavves’s previous bedroom productions by entering an actual studio and enlisting the help of Dennis Herring who has produced albums by the likes of Throwing Muses, Camper Van Beethoven and Modest Mouse. Pope and Hays (formerly the late Jay Reatard’s rhythm section) match and ratchet up Williams’s stoner thrash both in the studio, where they share a few song-writing credits, and on the stage, where they flail on flying V’s and bang kits in a mess of hair and crushed beer cans.
The band ripped through about 10 odes to wasted youth starting with the new album’s title track and continued with stand out cuts “Idiot,” “Take On The World,” “Green Eyes,” and “Post Acid.” After finishing the set with an extended instrumental psych out, the satisfied crowd was primed for their show later that night at The Rickshaw Stop where Wavves promised they’d hear more of the same. It was a happening of sorts. And I’d say you really missed out if you weren’t there. But as the band would surely agree, that wouldn’t mean shit.