Afraid of Heights

Wavves - Afraid of Heights
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2013 Ratings: #518 / 960
User Score
Based on 135 ratings
2013 Ratings: #200
March 26, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Mom + Pop / Label
Noise Pop, Lo-Fi / Genres
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A.V. Club

Everything just sounds fuller and more cleanly produced than the ragtag recordings that made King Of The Beach an indie hit. Hill brings out the artist in Williams, who no longer seems satisfied with just good enough.


'Afraid Of Heights' is a far stronger and much more accomplished effort, sounding more like an apposite album than any of Wavves' back catalogue.

Beats Per Minute

Hardly revelatory and moderately inconsistent, but packed full of reckless exuberance and fun, hyperkinetic jams to thrash around to that take only a couple of listens tops to get lodged firmly in your head.


There's less of the formless, small-scale exercises that largely made up Beach's back half; some will miss the eccentricity, but Afraid of Heights' energizing consistency makes for a fair trade.

Pretty Much Amazing

The nonchalant attitude Wavves approaches music-making with provides a cap to the height it can reach in terms of producing something truly excellent or groundbreaking.


Afraid of Heights sees mid-tempo songs become commonplace and focus placed more on harmonies and samples and textures. But, don’t mistake his musical palette refining with emotional maturity.


He is an asshole screw-up, for better and for worse, and at his best, this record is the ballsy twisted screech of a deranged finger-biter.

Consequence of Sound

Some of the grimy ease that made early Wavves so exciting and unique has faded, though a number of glorious hooks remain.


These songs are catchy and fun, and will probably be a big hit at all of the boozy, druggy outdoor festivals that Waaves are destined to play this year.

The Fly

But rather than fade into irrelevance, ‘Afraid Of Heights’ emerges three years on from ‘King Of The Beach’ as the sound of these sun-baked ne’er-do-wells getting their shit together in some style.

The Line of Best Fit

It proves with Afraid of Heights, a record that, for the most part, is the sound of a band treading water.

The 405

Whilst Afraid Of Heights is far from a disappointment, it doesn't add anything new to Wavves cannon of interest.


Afraid of Heights does little beyond confirming the King of the Beach's abilities as a conjurer, soothing our nostalgic mourning and coming as close to anyone can to slaking our thirst for the flesh-and-blood Nirvana Future we never got to have.

Under The Radar

Oon this slightly-too-long-at-13-tracks album, the missteps come when they stray from the tried-and-tested blueprint


Maybe lovers of '90s revival bands will find something to like here, but anyone who was into the records Wavves made before is out of luck.

I saw Wavves perform this album back in 2013 in Chicago with FIDLAR. It was a sticky ass bar and they tore the house down. Does that make me remember this album more fondly? Hell yeah it does.

Wavves have always had a hard time replicating the pure sound of King Of The Beach, but their immediate follow-up record was the closest they would come and likely ever will. The group have a very stripped down punk influenced sound that still incorporates some stellar sticky hooks. The end result is a ... read more
Wavves breaks out of Blink-182 status with this amazing album. A very confident and powerful album that makes it one of the best rock albums of the year.
as good as previous releases, Wavves continues to dominate pretentious surfer lo-fi punk
bonus: this tour was dope as fuck. some KotB and this whole lp as a setlist, FIDLAR opening, Cheetahs was there too...
Kurt Cobain y Rivers Cuomo se sonrojarían con la sinceridad con la que escribe Nathan Williams,lo único reprochable seria la decisión de alejarse del de sus raices Lo-Fi y optar por un sonido más pulido.
Another catchy, energetic release from Wavves. I'm a total sucker for this style. While not as strong as King of the Beach, this album is a must listen. I enjoy the fun, summer, poppier feel of KOTB but it's nice to see Wavves take a chance with this grungier, darker style.
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Year End Lists

#87/Crack Magazine

Track List

  1. Sail to the Sun
  2. Demon to Lean On
  3. Mystic
  4. Lunge Forward
  5. Dog
  6. Afraid of Heights
  7. Paranoid
  8. Cop
  9. Beat Me Up
  10. Everything Is My Fault
  11. That's On Me
  12. Gimme a Knife
  13. I Can't Dream
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Added on: January 11, 2013