Something strange is happening to the pizza-loving, stoner-slacker, weed demon himself, Nathan Williams. First we saw the release of his hazy self-titled side project Spirit Club earlier this year, featuring his brother, Joel. A few days ago, a surprise midnight release supplied listeners with, No Life For Me; a collaborative effort between Wavves/Spirit Club and Cloud Nothings members. On top of this, we've been promised by the Wavves frontman that we will also be hearing new Wavves material by August, according to a recent tweet:
What is this?? Some kind of determined and self-assertive work ethic??? What's gotten into you Nathan?????
But seriously, this abundance of new Nathan Williams material is nothing to be complaining about, as his latest collaboration on co-producing No Life For Me is a exceptional album. With a release at the tail end of June, it's perfectly timed to soundtrack the long, dog days of summer ahead.
Coming in at just under 22 minutes, the album ferociously charges through each song in a noisy, garage punk fury. Opening with the intensely melancholic instrumental "Untitled 1," No Life For Me's mood is set with an enticing and haunting chord progression that specifically characterizes each bands styles and techniques. Baldi's atmospherically deep foundational riff sets the tone for Williams' signature sun-bleached guitars that seem to melt through the crevices of the introductory cut.
Like many tracks on the album, both Baldi and William's distinctive sounds can be heard interweaving their own musical flairs. Songs like "How's It Gonna Go" and "No Life For Me" are clear, congruous musical welds, as the two frontmen instrumentally and vocally echo each other from chorus to verse. Lyrically evocative of their previous work, Wavves' pot-punk paranoia is present on "How It's Gonna Go," as he sings "Sun blisters in the snow/Heart beating in my chest," while Baldi echoes with his ambiguously introspective chorus, "I feel it open, I feel/I feel it open up around me."
The second instrumental track on the album, "Untitled II, "finds similarities to earlier, lyricless, psychedelic tracks like "Rainbow Everywhere" and "Goth Girls" found on Wavves' Wavvves. As opposed to these grittier, sharper, and seemingly disoriented cuts, "Untitled II" utilizes resounding synths with a deeper ambiance, producing a much more palatable track that serves as a pleasant intermission for No Life For Me.
For the two final tracks, Williams and Baldi split, writing "Such A Drag" and "Nothing Hurts," respectively. (Anyone familiar enough with both acts could determine who wrote what, without even listening.) "Such A Drag" manages to embody Wavves' slacker punk energy with the loose and sloppy arrangement fans are accustomed to but fails to emerge as one of Williams' strongest compositions. On the contrary, the Baldi-scripted contribution "Nothing Hurts" serves as a reflection of the first track "Untitled I," where a synth-lined drum beat escorts descending guitar lines, ending all too quickly, a qualitative brevity shared by the album as a whole.