San Diego-based Wavves are back with their new album You’re Welcome, and it is arguably one of their best projects to date. Released on May 19, 2017, thru Ghost Ramp, You’re Welcome marks as Wavves’ sixth studio album a follow-up to their 2015’s V.
The Great Opening
The opening track Daisy kicks off the album with a glossy riff and very catchy hook, a fiery song that sets the tone for the album. With that we continue with groovy the title track You’re Welcome, with a pretty simple guitar and bass riff that is complemented by Nathan Williams’ melodically distorted vocals.
A song that is heavenly contrasted by the high octane No Shade, clocking in at 2 minutes this heavily “Punk” inspired track. No Shade is very simple in its delivery which is very common with many early “Punk” acts, but compared to the rest of the album it feels a bit out of place. It does serve as a transition to the next song Million Enemies a very “anthem” themed song that without context just sounds like a pretty basic song about having “a million enemies”. I digress as the track has a pretty slick bass line and harmonic vocal performance from the band members, and I would catch myself chanting “I got enemies, a million enemies” so the song did serve its purpose well.
Continuing to Hallowed Out a bittersweet rock ballad that also has a great distorted and “dreamy” production to it. At face value, the song is also very straightforward just like the previous and is mostly admirable by the instrumental performance from Wavves.
The Semi-Disappointing Second Half
Now I’m gonna skip around a bit so I can continue the compliments and then flesh out some criticisms of the more lackluster tracks. Animal, Under, and Dreams of Grandeur, I Love You are some of the better songs of the second half of the album with Dreams of Grandeur being my overall favorite for the entire album.
Animal, and Under aren’t necessarily amazing tracks but are very pleasing to hear compared to the more mediocre performances. Dreams of Grandeur is a re-recording from the split EP Summer is Forever 2 Wavves shared with Best Coast in early 2016. The prior version was more rough and noisy, but the much cleaner recording on You’re Welcome is just sweet. The pop-punk influenced hook, the polished guitar, and drum performance, and the catchy lyrics is what delighted my ears. I Love You is an ode to the “doo-wop” age of music, and it is very odd considering that it is the concluding track to a mostly rowdy album. The song captures the tranquil tone of the 50’s while also having their own distorted twist to the genre, but other than that the track is really out of place like I have mentioned previously.
It is finally time for the weakest tracks Stupid in Love, Exercise, Come to the Valley, and the overall criticisms I have about You’re Welcome. The most forgettable tracks Stupid in Love, and Exercise can be summed down to what Wavves’ sound is usually associated with which is “noise pop”. These tracks are more noise than pop, and Stupid in Love is a great example with most of the singing being muffled, and well there was an effort in the production of the song but I just cannot find the song enjoyable.
Exercise follows almost the same formula as No Shade by being a predominately “punk” song but at least the latter sounded like a decent “punk” song. The track is just for lack of a better term to describe it just basic “punk”, but I just feel the song had more to be desired.
Finally, the most baffling song on the LP is the “beach anthem”-esque Come to the Valley which is bound to end up being background music for a Vans or Urban Outfitters store. I see what Wavves was trying to accomplish with this song by embracing their “surfer rock” roots, but it’s more obnoxious the more listens I put into it. My overall objections on the project can be summarized to this, You’re Welcome is one the more listenable albums from Wavves but some of the songs are either shallow, short, or just forgettable.
The production is clean and still, keeps the “noisy” aspect the band is known for, but some tracks are just more muddled by the distorted vocals. Wavves did leave some empty space on some of the lackluster songs and managed to not make me want to visit the “Valley” anytime soon.
The Final Verdict
Look, take my opinion on the album with a grain of salt, because I’m very nonchalant about the band as a whole. With that being said I did come into this album expecting to hate it, but it surprised me that I wouldn’t mind jamming to it while on my long walks to work. You’re Welcome is only about 35 minutes long with many of the tracks being under 3 minutes long, so much of it is energetic and hasty.
I’d recommend putting songs such as Million Enemies, No Shade, and Daisy on a workout or skating playlist, and yes I do see the irony of not recommending Exercise for said playlist types.
Stream it on Spotify down below, or you can buy it on iTunes here.