Between two full-length LPs in 2015 and a split single with Weezer last fall, Wavves have had a busy past couple of years. But some time away, however brief, has done the band good, as You're Welcome is the most revitalized Wavves have sounded in quite some time.
From the first guitar lick, high-adrenaline opener "Daisy" is infectiously catchy. Succeeding tracks "You're Welcome" and "No Shade" do an equally bang-up job of both resembling and one-upping the grunge worshiping noise pop that's defined Wavves so far. Frontman Nathan Williams fully embraces the "surf" in surf rock here, with chord progressions and melodies that feel ripped from the '60s and pushed through Wavves' signature lo-fi filter.
The momentum unfortunately halts on track six, "Come to the Valley," a nightmarish circus-evoking tune that's the only bona fide clunker on the 12-track LP. One could interpret the song's wackiness as a jab at tech culture in Silicon Valley, but the instrumentals here are so annoying that you'll probably skip the track before there's time for analysis.
Things immediately kick back into gear after that, as the final six songs are a lightning round of hard-hitting and cleverly structured surf rock. Late album standouts include the romantic "Animal" and thought-provoking "Dreams of Grandeur." Williams' time spent with Weezer's music appears to have rubbed off on him on album closer "I Love You," a melodically tight doo-wop ballad that oozes Rivers Cuomo and the Beach Boys in equal measure.
Besides one failed experiment of a song, You're Welcome's 11 other tracks are not only some of the best songs Williams has ever penned, but some of the freshest, most inventive tunes the genre has heard in years. Wavves' sixth studio album proves that nearly ten years in, these Californian surf rockers are far from washed up. Thank you, You're Welcome. (Ghost Ramp)