Review: Wavves x Cloud Nothings - "No Life For Me"

Wavves x Cloud Nothings - No Life For Me
(Ghost Ramp 2015)

This surprise collaboration between two of the nation’s finest purveyors of fuzzy pop-punk is somewhat of a return to each respective project’s lo-fi roots. Wavves’ Nathan Williams lays down his signature brand of rhythm guitar, sharp and psychedelic, creating a gritty foundation for Dylan Baldi to erect his wiry lead guitar riffs on top of. Willams’ distorted six-string assault blends impeccably with Baldi’s prodigious hook-writing ability on cuts like “Come Down” and “No Life For Me”, but the album’s most successful moments stem from its two lone solo cuts. “Such a Drag” is a classic Wavves track, reveling in its own summery slacker vibes while Baldi’s hyper-melodic “Nothing Hurts” borrows from both Blink-182 and the Beach Boys to form No Life For Me’s beautiful closing cut. Those who come back for repeat listens will be rewarded, as there's much to appreciate and re-discover packed within the album's 21 minute confines - the transitions between William's blaring, jaggedy verses and Baldi's minimal, yet maximally catchy chorus on "How It's Gonna Go", the strange, diverse strata of garage rock textures that makes up "Hard To Find", the droning, Doors-ian keyboard that accompanies the intro of "Nervous" - together it makes for an album that is as lovably fractured and poppy as Of Montreal's Skeletal Lamping.