DIIV ‘Deceiver’ music review: New York indie-rockers go grunge

Published: 

The band sets aside their surf-rock style for a sense of nostalgia

Chris Gillett |
Published: 
Comment

Latest Articles

Tick, Tick ... Boom! review: did you know Andrew Garfield could sing?

WTA suspends tournaments in China amid concern for Peng Shuai

Hong Kong’s secondary schools lose 4,500 students and 1,000 teachers in single year

Orange the Clock Tower to fight gender-based violence

Thai annual buffet for monkeys resumes as country’s borders reopen

Hong Kong students must ‘love motherland’ under new values curriculum

Better known for their ambient soundscapes, New York indie-rockers DIIV have opted for a heavier, grungier sound on their third album Deceiver.

Opener Horsehead is a whirlwind of guitars. The almost-whispered vocals are drowned out by the wall of sound, setting the blueprint for the rest of the record.

Like Before You Were Born and For The Guilty both evoke a blend of early-90s shoegaze, frantically jumping between picked guitar harmonies and heavy onslaughts.

TWICE's Feel Special EP review: K-pop girl group mix EDM, hip hop and 90s vibes and make it work

DIIV have ditched their light, surf-rock stylings, replaced by an all-encompassing sense of nostalgia.

On Taker, frontman Zachary Cole-Smith openly takes responsibility for his past, singing, “You watched my lips make/The  promise I betrayed/The  years I lived in vain/Chasing the pain with pain”. This mesmerising assault of trudging guitars marks a more contemplative tone for the group as they come across at their most unified.

Blankenship is the clear stand-out though, as Cole takes aim at the former CEO of an energy corporation. It’s a timely climate protest song that stands up among the band’s best tracks, with lines like “The earth is ownerless/Children lead the cry/You sold them all away/With thirty years of lies”.

Just like these lyrics, Deceiver feels more pressing and resonant with each spin.

Comment