The debut album “Oshin” by new band “DIIV” (Pronounced “Dive”) is released on June 26th 2012. Formally known as Dive, they take their name from the Nirvana track. The name was changed to DIIV to avoid confusion from another 90’s band. With huge Nirvana influences amongst everyone in the band, these guys know how to write a hook.
Riding the wave from Brooklyn, New York City, fronted by Zachary Cole Smith of the band “Beach Fossils” which in their own right, a brilliant surf pop group. They splash together shoegaze with dream pop in an addictive candy for the ears.
The title track “(Druun)” is an instrumental transcript, which kick starts with a snare hit and a strong watery bass line. The guitar is very chilled and could be compared with other shoegaze bands such as “Wild Nothing”. There is even a “Joy Division” feel to it the way the bass compliments the guitar. The second track “Past Lives” is a typical DIIV song with the echoing vocals and repeating guitars, this album is perfect for early evening as the sun brushes against the waves of the sea. Every song is relatively short but you will want to listen again and again. The next track is the single “Human” with a very metallic sound as well as a more relaxed melodic guitar progression. The multi-layered vocals remind you of a cold September evening in a foreign square.
“Air Conditioning” follows this, slowing it down with a harder hitting drum beat. The vocals are merely there to build the track otherwise its another instrumental. The second single is the track “How Long Have You Known?” These lyrics you relate to as Zachary repeats “Ever” over and over again. This song is a bit darker but is a sing along track that will get stuck in your head.
Next Up is “Wait” If you are listening to this album on the move with headphones, you will get more out of it. You will long to wail with the vocals through this, taking you out to the suburbs of New York. “Earthboy” kicks off with a sound thats more like “The Cure”. With the echoing vocals hardly audible in the background you feel a sense of space with every word. “(Drunn, Pt. II)” makes you tap your foot, by now you will have fallen in love with the way each track sprays into the next. “Follow” borrows it sound from “Beach Fossils” However, this is no con, it is a beautiful sung song with great tempo. Think of candles, red light and wheat beer for this song.
“Sometime” taken from the first E.P. is a brilliant track with a great synth in the background thrusting it on. This song is more of a psychedelic expedition. “Oshin (Subsume)” almost echoes early U2, don’t let that put you off though, everything is not what it seems, the song is more of a march than a hallucinogenic trip. The penultimate track is “Doused” The best track on the album. This track is a trip to the Ocean stopping off at as many inflatable shops on the way, the bass line is excellent and drives is furiously until the end. This song is a show finisher. Finally we have “Home” a Synth showcase, which would relax you in the bath after a long day. Great chilled out way to end a perfectly balanced easy listening album. Try to get lost in the waves. I recommend it.
**** 4 Stars.
“DIIV - Oshin” Tracklist:
2. Past Lives
4. Air Conditioning
5. How Long Have You Known?
8. (Druun pt. II)
11. Oshin (Subsume)