Wavves x Cloud Nothings - No Life for Me - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Wavves x Cloud Nothings - No Life for Me

by Sean Hewson Rating:9 Release Date:2015-06-29
No Life for Me, the collaboration between Dylan Baldi from Cloud Nothings and Wavves' Nathan Williams, is not a load of laughs lyrically, but it's so much fun to listen to. There's so much exuberance' so much of what Allen Ginsberg called "first thought, best thought", that it's exhilarating.
OK, it sounds cheap, the songs are half-formed and often take ridiculous left turns or just peter out. Also, some of the playing is moronic (the drum beat from 'Fall on You' by Moby Grape appears on almost every song) but it's also so smart that ideas that shouldn't work, do. It often sounds like a Sebadoh album written entirely by Jason Loewenstein. But then there are 10 second sections when it sounds like it could have been put out on Italian Do It Better.
The record, which is only 20 minutes long, starts with an instrumental called 'Untitled'. Already the arrangements are weird. There are synth sounds from the 80s, quirky guitar lines and ridiculous noises. As a scene-setter, it does everything apart from put the Moby Grape beat underneath it all.
'How It's Gonna Go' is noisier, the first of the great, big songs that these guys can seemingly churn out at will. The lyrics are great: "Sharks swimming in the ocean/ my head buried in the sand". But all the time strange sounds are gathering at the edges and, as the song becomes noisier and the screaming starts, it sounds as good as anything on the excellent, recent album by Metz.
It's followed by 'Come Down' - another fine song - and then 'Hard to Find', which is the best song here. The "Gotta get away" chorus is very close to Nirvana but they've combined it with backing vocals. It's such a strange decision that you start looking forward to it - one guy screaming his guts out whilst the other sings "Ooh!"
'Untitled II' is another instrumental and is like a cheap and nasty 'Ecstasy Symphony' by Spacemen 3. The synths continue at the start of 'Nervous', but there is also noise building and building until, almost by accident, a song appears. And the song is as catchy as hell.
The chorus, like many here, is obvious but in such a way that you are pleased to see it, rather than bored by it. But then the song just ends, as strangely as it began. 'No Life for Me' and 'Such a Drag', the latter with its "I know it's over" lyrics, should be devastating. But they're not, they're fun. Williams and Baldi can't stick to one tune and songs veer from one unlikely section to another until 'Such a Drag' ends with a few seconds of synth.
The last song, 'Nothing Hurts', begins with more synth before some horrible, horrible guitar comes in. Somehow it works. It then just cuts to a Suicide-like synth throb for no reason. And stops.
And that's how much of No Life for Me goes - songs sidle into view and suddenly veer off into big, bold choruses; strange noises crash around in the background and songs just peter out. You can almost feel ideas being picked up, mulled over and then discarded when they get boring. It's a bit of a mess, but it's a brilliant mess.

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