Remember when summer lasted forever, when you would run from the front doors of your school throwing paper in the air and ripping off your uniform to reveal jean shorts and an offensive t-shirt. You would awake at the crack of dawn with boundless energy, bent on climbing every mountain and breaking at least one skateboard deck a day as you rode a 'Wavve' of immortality and invincibility straight through whatever was considered proper behavior.
Those summers almost always included a partner in crime who beyond bumming your parents out, also had a knack for getting in the most trouble and then smiling when the authorities showed up knowing that the next phrase that came out of his mouth was going to lead to deeper trouble.......enter Nathan Williams, lo-fi infamous leader of the Wavves and all around snot nosed punk who's endless summer began long ago and is continually documented in his music including his newest release, 'King Of The Beach'.
The album begins on that last day of school with a sound not unlike a bully slamming a locker in your ear, then quickly launches into the title track with the youthful jest of "You're Never Gonna Stop Me!!" surrounded by sun drenched pop sensibility and the notion that he was the one that stuck gum in your hair. This battle cry continues through the album on tracks like 'Post Acid' where he asks for your deepest understanding in that he is in fact "Just having fun with you" followed by a sarcastic wailing taunt and "Take On The World" which would seem to be the mission of any kid with a bus-pass and cigarette lighter. Staying on target with youthful abandon you can't have ying without yang so the album also covers something most teenagers and Nathan know all too well, self-loathing. Take ‘Idiot’, a song that reflects what many in the music industry have been thinking about him for a long time and he agrees with, offering the chorus,"I’m an idiot, I’d say I’m sorry but it wouldn't mean..." as if to say you can either get on my imperfect boat or sink out of my concern. This is mirrored on 'Green Eyes' as well where he croons a lovesick ballad for a girl that begins with the line "My own friends, they hate my guts, ahhh so what, who gives a....", painting himself as the leather jacket wearing loner who waits for her after-school because he ditched the last class.
Much shorter than a typical teenage summer, clocking in at under 40 minutes, 'King Of The Beach' does a good job at pulling a moment out of American life and serving it back to you laced with pop chops, catchy melodies, fuzzed guitars and falsetto sing-alongs while still being true to the sneer of being young and not caring about much other than sleeping late and grabbing some tasty waves day after day. Many of Nathan's critics are always quick to bring up his press wars with Matt Whitehurst, his bar-room brawl with Black Lips or the time in Barcelona when him and his drummer got into a huge argument in front of thousands of festival-goers, but in this instance and for this summer, in 12 tracks Nathan can stand proud on his kicked over sand-castle as the 'King Of The Beach'.