Above artwork by the talented Ilan Schraer. If you sign up to follow his blog right now, he’ll sketch you for free! More details here.
Not to be deterred from providing loud, enthusiastic soundtracks to summer, Japandroids are back again with their second of five singles due this year, “Younger Us” b/w a cover of X‘s “Sex and Dying in High Society”. This A-side may sound a little cleaner than much of the fare from Post-Nothing, but with characteristic nostalgic patter like “Remember sayin’ things like ‘We’ll sleep when we’re dead’ / and thinkin’ this feelin’ was never gonna end / Remember that night you were already in bed, said ‘fuck it’, got up to drink with me instead”, it’s apparent they’re still covering the same emotional ground. That’s not to say there isn’t something new here beyond a slight cleanup; regardless of subject matter or their virtually exclusive use of power chords, this song comes together in a way that, strangely enough, feels more mature than their past works. Considering that “Younger Us” was actually recorded during the Post-Nothing sessions, this is an odd and subtle fact — perhaps the one subtle fact in this towering powerhouse of distorted guitars and shout-singing — but a fact nonetheless.
Download: Japandroids – Younger Us
Buy: You can pre-order the Younger Us 7-inch (limited to 2500 copies) from Polyvinyl Records for $5.
Meanwhile, San Diego’s hometown hero (?) of lo-fi hype Nathan Williams is making a much more significant move away from his trademark sound on King of the Beach. Recorded with the former rhythm section for Jay Reatard (RIP) at Sweet Tea in Mississippi — yes, that’s the same studio where Merriweather Post Pavilion was recorded — this third Wavves album promises to live up to Williams’ early characterizations (ie: “clean as a whistle” and “able to hear everything”).
Our first tangible glimpse into how this will actually play out came in the form of the leaked title-track and album opener “King of the Beach”. While not mired in the peaked-out production that has typified his music thus far, I certainly wouldn’t call this hi-fidelity audio. But Williams wasn’t lying about being able to hear things either — a bold choice for someone who’s been accused of masking bad songs with oppressive noise. Skirting overproduction and adopting a kind of classic California punk sound, Wavves is particularly interested in silencing those haters with this one (“You’re never gonna stop me / You’re never gonna stop… King of the Beach!”). It seems as mindlessly fun as it ever was, though I wonder if he can pull it off for a whole record.
The first official single, “Post Acid”, also came out today (via awkward corporate sponsorship that will remain nameless) and suggests that, in fact, he might just be able to. Check both tracks out down below.
Download: Wavves – King of the Beach (removed on request)
Download: Wavves – Post Acid (removed on request)
Buy: King of the Beach comes out August 6th on Fat Possum.