Wavves, Vampire Hands, My Gold Mask | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Wavves, Vampire Hands, My Gold Mask Recommended Member Picks Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Fri., April 3, 10 p.m. 2009

Toward the end of last year critics and bloggers started latching onto a 22-year-old from San Diego named Nathan Daniel Williams, who records as Wavves, and triggered a cascade of hype that threatened to swamp his second full-length, Wavvves (Fat Possum), even before it came out last month. (My contribution was to name-check Wavves in my year-end wrap-up column, during a bit about the resurgence of lo-fi.) The praise that’s been heaped on Williams has the potential to inspire a backlash equal in magnitude and toxicity to the one that struck the Black Kids, but he might be freaky and talented enough to dodge it. Most of the press he’s gotten has focused on his noisy pop songs, and with good reason: they manage to be amazingly catchy despite burying their hooks in guitar fuzz, and even at their friskiest tempos they retain a seriously chillaxed SoCal stoner vibe. But Williams devotes a significant portion of Wavvves to formless electronic jams that could easily alienate the non-bong-owning demographic—their presence on the album suggests he just doesn’t give a fuck about all his new fair-weather fans, a quality that will serve him well when Pitchfork gives his next album a 2.9 and a review that consists entirely of a sound file of a sad trombone going “wah-wahhh.” Vampire Hands and My Gold Mask open. —Miles Raymer

Price: $10

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