loved and hated by hardcore shoegaze fans the Brooklynites of the band DIIV have
gone in and out of favor with their devotees in the span of three albums. 2012’s Oshin was loved by almost everybody however, heaviest
critics of 2016’s Is the Is Are said that the band’s distortion and reverb hide
Zachary Cole Smith’s lyrics was what destroyed their last album. I agree for the most part.
But, I(and many other fans) expected them to come out the other side and produce a better album. Especially considering that Smith went through rehab. It def feels that on Deceiver Smith’s mind is clearer since returning from rehab last year. I get the sense that this album is the one that Smith intended to make when he described their sophomore album as “a light at the end of the tunnel” but later admitted that it might have been a bit premature.
Maybe calling it a do-over works but I do not think it does it justice. I think its more of a redemption for Smith. Because in his own words in a 2017 interview with Pitchfork “Getting sober and staying sober is fucking hard.”
One thing I loved about this album is that each song seemed like a journey on its own but also the album itself is an almost cinematic voyage. The album’s opener is the beautiful and solemn Horsehead, one of the best tracks. With a strong distorted and hazy intro and outro it is far too short for my liking but that is probably because it was relaxing and exactly the way shoegaze should be while staring at the ground or looking into the sky as the music drives you into peace. Skin Game, takes the sound of some Sonic Youth and adds it to a beautiful poetic recovery song with lyrics that match the tone and tinder. Smith really has grown as a musician and songwriter since returning from rehab and Skin Game is a perfect example. One of the weaker songs is Between the Tides, not because it wasn’t a good listen but because it didn’t feel like it carried a journey that like much of the other songs did. Though Zachary Cole Smith sings it, I did not feel his connection to the song though his Elliot Smith like falsetto like most of the other songs.
Diiv, has in my opinion perfected their timestamped 90s shoegaze sound; has left that bit of Dream Pop residue behind on Deceiver. They have found themselves on the same level as My Bloody Valentine and Starflyer 59 on this album. With bits of Smashing Pumpkin flavored guitars and a wonderfully grungy production, this is in my opinion their best album and they can only go up from here.
Overall, this album though impresses me! I would dare say that this is one of the best albums of the year. It is most def one of my personal favorites next to Tyler the Creator’s Igor. Deceiver never gives into the it is pessimistic sound despite being an album about regret. The poetry lover in me wishes that the lyrics matched the poetic sound of music but certainly look forward to the next album that DIIV gives us.
10-11 Perris, CA – Desert Daze Festival
10-12 Phoenix, AZ – The Rebel Lounge
10-14 Austin, TX – Mohawk
10-15 Houston, TX – Satellite
10-16 Dallas, TX – Canton Hall
10-18 Chicago, IL – Logan Square Auditorium
10-19 Detroit, MI – Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
10-20 Cleveland, OH – Phantasy
10-22 Boston, MA – Paradise $
10-23 Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts
10-24 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw
10-27 Washington, DC – Black Cat
12-05 San Diego, CA – Belly Up Tavern
12-06 San Luis Obispo, CA – SLO Guild Hall
12-07 Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst
12-08 San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
12-10 Seattle, WA – Crocodile
12-11 Portland, OR – Revolution Hall
12-13 Sonoma, CA – Sonoma Redwood Barn
Nathan Alan Schwartz likes to dance in the pale moonlight.
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