Wavves was the first show that my companion and I saw at Shaky Knees this summer. I have to admit that I could not fully appreciate Wavves at the time since I had not previously listened to them extensively, and because it was so ridiculously hot standing on the black asphalt, shoulder to shoulder with my fellow festivalgoers. Nevertheless, Wavves played as if it weren’t 90 degrees outside, and I decided to place them in my top 10 shows from the festival, next to Ryan Adams and The Black Lips.
Fast-forward about three months, and Wavves has kept their listeners well stocked with new music. “Heavy Metal Detox” is the third single from their upcoming album V, along with “Flamezesz” and “Way Too Much”. “Heavy Metal Detox” is nothing unfamiliar; the track opens with a slightly distorted and repetitive guitar riff, which hooks the listener with a catchy melody. The track takes on their signature punk sound with raw vocals and a slight surfer vibe.
“Flamezesz” is equally as punk but with the addition of a brief synthesizer melody that carries on throughout the track. “Way Too Much” follows with the same upbeat sound.
Wavves successfully carries on the tradition of punk, while also adding a modern twist with their Californian sound. Unlike other punk bands, Wavves isn’t performing for shock value, but rather contributes directly to the evolution of a genre. Perhaps the same could be said for bands like The Black Lips, whom I also placed in my top 10 artists from Shaky Knees as stated above. I couldn’t help but think of The Black Lips while listening to “Heavy Metal Detox,” which seems appropriate considering The Black Lips have a slightly heavier sound. Wavves combines genres, which makes it hard to pinpoint their sound. They are a little bit indie, a little bit surfer, and a lot of punk, and while their sound is on point, they don’t let that overrule their lyrics, which are clear and well thought out.
Nikki grew up in an imitation German town in Georgia by the name of Helen. It wasn’t until middle school that she started to get interested in the arts: painting, music, and writing. She wrote in her diary, sketched in art class and listened to regretful music. By high school, her tastes became a little more refined. She found Fiona Apple, Lou Reed and Giant Drag, and they remain her favorites in college. She was accepted to the University of Georgia in 2012 and is currently majoring in English. Upon moving to Athens from a town with more trees than people, Nikki was a bit overwhelmed. However, there is certainly no lack of inspiration in Athens, and she appreciates its love for the arts and its service as a platform.