It seems like Nathan Williams has emerged from his smoke-filled van and got his head into some real nice vitamin D. On King of the Beach, the Wavves’ leader ditches the under-produced garage-punk of his first two records for a cleaner and far more pop-oriented collection of songs, majorly influenced by Southern California. The entire album, like the best punk rock, is imbued with a casual, but never tossed-off, air of fun. The songs feature addictive ’80s hardcore-like vocal melodies and crisply produced guitars. It only took two or three plays before I had the epic riff of “Super Soaker”, and its sentimental foil, “Take on the World”, stuck in my head. For King, Williams indoctrinated a new rhythm section — drummer Billy Hayes and bass player Stephen Pope — who cut their teeth (and who knows what else) for the late Jay Reatard.