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With two Wavves records on the horizon (slated for release in June and August, per the group's Twitter), an EP already released in 2015 under his Sweet Valley moniker and now the self-titled debut from his other band, Spirit Club, Nathan Williams has proven himself to be perhaps the most productive and entrepreneurial stoner in recent history. The songwriter, guitarist and vocalist has achieved prominence through his most popular and acclaimed group, Wavves. But his numerous side projects have scored many victories over the past several months, and this hazy LP has made it clear that none are more promising than psychedelic pop outfit Spirit Club.

Consisting of Williams, his brother Joel and Andrew Caddick, better known to lovers of lo-fi pop as Jeans Wilder, Spirit Club had previously released a brief two-song EP on Williams' Ghost Ramp label, along with a handful of additional singles. The group specializes in scuzzy, surf pop that, like Wavves, is soaked with angst, depression, self-loathing and paranoia. However, whereas Wavves has a distinctively harder edge to their music that usually qualifies it as a surf punk bad, Spirit Club is almost all pop, all the time, but always with a grimy twist.

Queasy, off-kilter instrumentals drift like a cloud of smoke over the slinky vocals performances of Williams and Caddick. And while Spirit Club is a decidedly more pop affair than anything Wavves has ever released, which is saying something because Wavves makes some damn good poppy music, the production techniques implemented by the group give it some of the immediacy of a good punk record. It is a well-known component of the Wavves story that he recorded the first two records, the lo-fi treasures Wavves and Wavvves, in Williams' parents home. Spirit Club was recorded in Williams' personal residence, giving it some lo-fi flair, but it is clear that his success has given him the opportunity to deploy scuzzy, blown out production as an aesthetic rather than a necessity.

This is not a knock, as the production is what makes for several of Spirit Club's most distinctive moments. The skittering, fuzzy guitar riff that closes out 'Bless This Mess' blisters the track to a rollicking, while the intro to 'Dream On' sounds like a depressed Mac DeMarco before a bubbling synth gives way to a melody that sounds like the Beach Boys got lost in a graveyard. Masterminded largely by Joel Williams, the work behind the boards only serves to bolster the songs, rather than hold them back or blast them out too much. The production also gives the record a unique flair. Wavves tracks typically blare along with reckless abandon, but the songs on Spirit Club tend to take the slow road, as though they are wading through a summer heat wave with melting asphalt coming off on their shoes.

For fans of Wavves, this record will seem like a natural progression for Williams' songwriting interests. It is as though he took the last minute and twenty seconds of 'Afraid of Heights,' the centerpiece track from the Wavves album of the same name, and stretched it into a full-length record. Both contain the same dark sense of dread, offset by the twinkle of guitars and xylophones. It would just seem that Spirit Club has made an effort to bring their songs slightly more into the orange glow of summer dusk, as each track sounds as though it came from the California bedroom of a sun-imbued goth.

The album does have some weak points, particular during its latter half. While the album's eighth song, 'Still Life,' serves as a rollicking highlight that, in many ways, sounds like it could have just been a Wavves song in another life, it is cased in by three slower songs that cause it to disrupt the album's pacing. But it does not help that two of these three tracks, the instrumental, 'Ripped,' and its sequel, 'Ripped II,' are easily the album's weakest. The former is perhaps the only moment on the record where the production gets in the way just a tad too much, while the latter features the record's weakest vocal performance.

But two slightly subpar tracks do not define an LP and that is the case with this record. For those who have been supporters of Wavves in the past, Spirit Club will certainly be worth the listen. It provides a unique and natural evolution to the music that allowed Nathan Williams to become popular. His pop writing chops, coupled with the skillset of his brother and Caddick, allow for some truly splendid moments. This is easily the most promising of Williams' many side projects and, so long as he does not run himself into the ground during the time in between, it is not hard to imagine Spirit Club churning out a really incredible record next time around. For now, "solid" would likely be the optimal descriptor of the band's debut.

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