Nathan Williams' year is similar to that of the year's biggest rapper. Shocking onstage antics led to backlash, and the guy who goes by Wavves had something to prove with his next record. Fortunately for him (and us), King of the Beach is so good that it's all the "fuck you" he needs for anyone who has a problem with Ecstasy x Valium-triggered festival meltdowns. On his third album in two years, the 24-year-old San Diego kid toned down the distortion, went from his parents' garage to a real studio, added the late Jay Reatard's drum and bass players to the band, and started working with a seasoned rock producer. Because of those changes, we got songs like "Take On The World," "Green Eyes," "Linus Spacehead," and an entire album of Nirvana/Blink-182-inspired punk songs that we still bump in the dead of winter.