King of the Beach

It's telling that Nathan Williams, a.k.a. Wavves, is a poor speller. His hazy California pop punk is all about skipping school and riding your bong to the ocean. On the third Wavves full-length, a one-man bedroom experiment blossoms into a real band, with Jay Reatard's feisty backing duo and Modest Mouse's producer beefing up low-fi strumming, smiling melodies and zonked studio whimsy. Songs like "Post Acid" mix slashing riffs and joyful hooks, while "Mickey Mouse" builds an echo cathedral atop what sounds like a loop of the Crystals' "Da Doo Ron Ron." He didn't strain any brain cells on the lyrics, but Williams' "convertible cocoon" is an escape pod, not a think tank.

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