Monday, August 30, 2010

King of the Beach

What Bruno says. Wavves’ King of the Beach and Ariel Pink’s Before Today have been two of my summer’s bigger disappointments, in almost exact proportion to the excitement of their earlier efforts. Both scrubbed and buffed all the cool burrs away, or enough of them to reduce their songs to just a crafty catalog of their influences. But I’ve learned you look square and bitter when you criticize pop music, as if you expected something from it in the first place, so let’s end on the sonically positive: Drew Gardner doing “Pop Rocks” in a cattle auction amphitheater. “Nothing in my life is the way it’s supposed to be” is about as sharp a summation of the pop ethos as I’ve heard this side of Eddie Cochran.


Joseph said...

Huh. haven't heard the new Wavves yet, but not disappointed by Ariel Pink at all. I think I was a little bit disappointed at first, but now that summer's almost over i can look back and see that it's the only album I've been listening to non-stop all summer.

rodney k said...

Hi Joseph,

I should live with it longer and will probably come around. It came with that Dylan Thomas-like myth about all the earlier records having been drawn from tapes he made more or less in his room as a teen, until he finally got the contract that would let him make this cleaner studio album, the way he'd heard it in his head all along. The Nathan Williams story, as Franklin and others tell it, is more Svengali-like, with a personal meltdown and an indie superproducer leaping into the breach. I like the new Wavves better than the new Pink so far, but liked Pink a whole Everest better to begin with.

Congrats, btw, on your own summer opus, the OMG chapbook.