Ink

The Big Show: Wavves and Best Coast at the Midland

Wavves, a band who often hides sturdy melodies under messy layers of chaos, appears at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland on Friday.
Wavves, a band who often hides sturdy melodies under messy layers of chaos, appears at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland on Friday. From the artists

Not since Animal Collective performed at the venue in 2013 has a concert at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland been headlined by a more deliberately dissonant band than Wavves.

A group of ill-behaved rockers from San Diego, Wavves has seemingly teetered on the brink of dissolution since its formation eight years ago. “V,” the quartet’s 2015 album, resembles a 31-minute panic attack.

Wobbly songs like “My Head Hurts” reflect the unhealthy predilections of bandleader Nathan Williams. He references his battle with the bottle on “Way Too Much.” As with Kurt Cobain’s Nirvana — one of Williams’ primary spiritual and sonic touchstones — Wavves often hides sturdy melodies and engrossing lyrics under messy layers of noisy chaos.

Wavves’ scuzzy sound, self-destructive tendencies and nihilistic perspective — one of its releases is titled “Life Sux” — have enhanced the band’s appeal with fans who believe that Wavves is the manifestation of the true spirit of rock ’n’ roll. They might be right, but Wavves’ anarchic approach isn’t for everyone.

Even people who are confounded by Wavves’ graduation to large theaters when its members sound as if they couldn’t pass a remedial music therapy course might attend the concert to catch an appearance by Best Coast. The California band led by Bethany Cosentino has crafted the summery indie-pop hits “The Only Place” and “Boyfriend.”

Cherry Glazerr, a Los Angeles band that shares Wavves’ unpolished approach, opens the show.

Tickets are $20 in advance through midlandkc.com.

Concert previews by Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

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