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The Scarlet & Black

Weeknight show makes Wavves

Given Wavves’, potentially undeserved reputation for dramatics, last night’s Gardner Loughe show could have sounded like the Beach Boys on a cocktail of Ecstasy, Valium and Xanax.
Instead, Wavves put on a cohesive, lo-fi show with lyric-melding distortions and enough heavy punk influences to back up some committed head bang/mosh behavior.
Sharing their cassette and Garage Band style origins, Wavves contemporaries range from Black Lips and Ave Vigoda to the shape-shifting noise of Women and Crystal Stilts.
Even on tour, the band’s songs retain the homemade, rhythm driven quality which appealed so thoroughly to their earliest listeners.
Thursday’s show boasted three openers, including Tim Hederman’s ’10, Sheetrock, Iowa City’s synthy Wet Hair and the equally mixed up bluesy, psyche, even beachy Ganglians.
Though they didn’t take the stage until nearly midnight, and despite a few technical difficulties regarding feedback delays, Wavves matched the audience’s energy almost immediately and seemed unfazed when an out-of-towner was hoisted above the crowd for a few moments.
The long-haired drummer led by example and even threw himself from his chair a few times. But despite their total dedication, Wavves’ trademark blended, reverberating style was often tantamount to a wall of noise, backed by a solid rhythm section.
After their set, Wavves retired to Marcus Eagan ’12 and Alec Maliwanag’s ’13 11p.m.-3a.m. KDIC slot, “Salamat Po,” where they saw out the night filming each other filming each other and commenting on the undying coolness of Iowa.
Overall, despite a somewhat toxic combination of lo-fi stylings and a feedback delay which made identifying individual songs a virtual impossibility, the show’s overall chemistry was remarkable, especially for a late night, midweek show.
Grinnellians pushed each other around like it was Friday night and finished the evening with a ringing in their ears what will probably fade by the time this paper shows up in the mailroom.

Nathan Williams, lead singer of Wavves, backed by drummer Zach Hill, gave a remarkably energetic performance  late last night in Gardner Lounge.
Nathan Williams, lead singer of Wavves, backed by drummer Zach Hill, gave a remarkably energetic performance late last night in Gardner Lounge.

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