Afraid of Heights - MOM + POP
FILTER Grade: 82%
By Zack Kraimer on March 25, 2013
There’s more to life than skating, booze and blunts, as Wavves’ Nathan Williams has evidently discovered—but not that much more. Afraid of Heights reflects Wavves’ (now a duo) newfound quasi-maturity with ambitious cello and glockenspiel arrangements, but time’s still found for the endearingly disheveled, apathetic no-fi they’re known for. So endlessly California that it sunburns, Afraid is derivative when it’s idling and full of vigor when it’s not. Druggy slow-burners like “Dog” and “I Can’t Dream” break up the expected but polished machismo of “Beat Me Up,” “Sail to the Sun” and “Mystic.” Producer John Hill’s résumé (Rihanna, M.I.A.) and Williams’ side project Sweet Valley made a hip-hop infusion seem likely, but it’s more Blue Album than Illmatic.