The oldest story ever told. Marginally challenging band gets cherrypicked by en vogue media outlet seeking to perpetuate its own street cred, hype spreads like wildfire, and soon the whole music community is needlessly ablaze.
So it was at the 7th Street Entry last night, where noise darling Wavves performed to a near capacity crowd, but not before being thoroughly upstaged by locals Vampire Hands, who executed with harmony and stage presence that headliner Wavves could only hint at, and even that with great boredom.
What 7th Street Entry attendees saw last night was a formulaic punk rock two piece masquerading as something far more daring and melodic. With guitar and drums, Wavves' set, clocking in at almost exactly a half hour, was precise and exact and almost toally without the kind of lone-wolf inspirations we might have imagined from reading his press materials and listening to his grimy self recordings.
Nathan Williams has made a name for himself as the child emperor of lo-fi, and his releases have been touted as masterpieces of pared down noise punk. Head over to Soulseek and download his released material, and you'll hear gritty 4-track garage recordings exquisitely camouflaging an abhorrent lack of musicianship to the undying delight of obscurist critics who are jumping out of their skins for their chance to turn a molehill into a mountain.
The real tragedy is that lurking inside this illusory, grossly over-hyped "noise rock" band is a perfectly decent, dependable punk two-piece. But that's not enough for Wavves, nor for Pitchfork, nor for the scads of music reviewers who drool themselves sodden and hi-five one another with every hilariously familiar note and croon, and that promotional reach makes the ensuing fall many times harder than it would be if Wavves were confident enough to be exactly what he is-- a rocker of good execution and limited inspiration.
With all his hype (for which, admittedly, Wavves can't reasonably be faulted), Wavves can easily be written off as a brief blip, a meteorite momentarily picked up on a radar sweep as it descends towards Earthly impact, momentarily catching the sunlight. Without the hype, Wavves might have enjoyed a lengthy career as a bayside opener, but now that the act has caught on, he's doomed to something fleeting, which catches praise even as it crashes. In any case, Wavves should enjoy its time in the limelight-- it's been borrowed with heavy interest.