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31 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 26, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

DIIV is the nom-de-plume of Z. Cole Smith, musical provocateur and frontman of an atmospheric and autumnally-charged new Brooklyn four-piece. Inked to the uber-reliable Captured Tracks imprint, DIIV created instant vibrations in the blog-world with their impressionistic debut "Sometime"; finding it s way onto the esteemed pages of Pitchfork and Altered Zones a mere matter of weeks after the group s formation.

Enlisting the aid of NYC indie-scene-luminary, Devin Ruben Perez, former Smith Westerns drummer Colby Hewitt, and Mr. Smith s childhood friend Andrew Bailey, DIIV craft a sound that is at once familial and frost-bitten. Indebted to classic kraut, dreamy Creation-records psychedelia, and the primitive-crunch of late-80s Seattle, the band walk a divisive yet perfectly fused patch of classic-underground influence.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 26, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Captured Tracks
  • ASIN: B0080HJXIK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,970 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J. Hubner on July 16, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Diiv, like a few other purveyors of everything alternative 80s, are sipping from the cup that runneth over poured by great bands like the Cure, Echo and the Bunneymen, Modern English and Joy Division. If a band was signed to Sire or 4AD, then more than likely Diiv is echoing their sentiment. But unlike a lot of bands that attempt to capture the spirit of the early days of 80s alternative and fail, Diiv not only capture it, but hone it and make it something they can call their very own.

Diiv is the brainchild of Beach Fossils guitarist Zachary Cole Smith. At first a bedroom project, it's now become much more than that. With clean, reverbed guitars, driving 16th note bass lines and danceable drum beats, this Brooklyn(of course) quartet run through 13 tracks in 40 minutes and never is there a lagging moment. Smith's vocals have an ethereal quality to them. They float along in a haze of echo, indifference and ambiguity. Understanding lyrics isn't the point here. It's about opening up and just letting the music take you somewhere.

Oshin opens with the two minute instrumental '(Druun)', which is really a great way to introduce you to Diiv's headspace. A reverb-drenched and very atmospheric track, '(Druun)', is the hole in the wall which allows you to take a peak at what's in store. 'Past Lives' sounds a lot like one of Diiv's contemporaries, Real Estate. Both bands plow the same musical fields, albeit on different continents. Where Real Estate borrow heavily from IRS-era REM and the like, Diiv are backpacking it through Europe and having a hell of a time doing it. 'How Long Have You Known' is a great, pulsating track in the spirit of Joy Division. 'Earthboy' has buried vocals, cleanly played guitars and drums that hover just above audible volume.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Quaker on August 1, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Debut release from Brooklyn band who play a sort of 80s style darkwave dreampop--soaring,
hypnotic, beautifully charming songs that combine minor key drone chords with elevated jangle-
pop pathos; and place crystalline, ringing tremolo guitar notes over waves of gentle, atmospheric
synthesizers. The songs are driven by a carefully relentless rhythm, like the never-ending lope
of a determined desert camel, and delivered in irresistibly short bursts of enchanting, focused
melody. Vocals, when present, exist as an otherworldly background compliment to the
instruments. There's a sense of unlimited potential, of sun spilling through the clouds in the sky
here--tempered by the feeling that the melancholy of reality's bite is never far away. Includes
members from Beach Fossils & the Smith Westerns. Recalls bands like Felt, Durutti Column,
Real Estate, New Order, the Cure, Blue China, Fra Lippo Lippi, Robin Guthrie/Cocteau Twins.
Subtly stunning, gorgeous and completely captivating; this is an album that I could live with for a
while. One of 2012's best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By KBRI tunes on July 23, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
Formerly known as Dive and still pronounced that way, this Brooklyn outfit has ties to Beach Fossils and Smith Westerns which are influences here, but this is so much better! Atmouspheric dream pop that skirts that shadows.
Hints of Interpol and Ambulance Ltd, but definitely falling on the indie pop side more. The jangly guitar provides the glimmer of hope and the droning rhythms, the darkness, all balanced perfectly. Definitely in the running for Record of the Year for me.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By G. Fadie on July 25, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
"Doused" is the best song on the album and it's the one they're playing on the radio. The other 12 songs are similar but shorter (with 1 exception) and with fewer vocals. The vocals they do have are only a few lines, heavily layered (or doubled, tripled, etc) and buried deep in the mix to the point where they are mostly unintelligible. If this is intentional, and the band uses vocals as an additional form of instrumentation, I get it. I won't judge the album based on that alone.

I'm a fan of the occasional instrumental and the "almost-instrumental" (for example, "Hands Away" by Interpol or "The Sparrow" by Mastodon) but this album is *mostly* those. Don't get me wrong, the music is good, sort of like The Church or The Cure from the 80's or maybe Pinback or The Drums if you prefer a more recent reference. But it gets frustrating, a few songs into the album, not hearing vocals constructed into an actual song. Again I realize that not all music has to fit into a specific mold and I can understand that a band may want to break new ground. But I bought the album based on "Doused" which is a great indie rock song and now I sort of feel cheated because the rest of the album doesn't live up to that one song. But it's my own fault because I could have streamed the whole thing before buying it.

Aside from the lack of vocals, the band also does not use tempo changes, drum fills, breakdowns or bridges. To me, every track sounds like an extended intro that never blossoms into a full fledged song. Think about Death Cab for Cutie's "I Will Possess Your Heart" with that 4 minute intro. Imagine if that song just ended at the 4 minute mark. That's what most of the songs on Oshin are like. The occasional vocals do keep it interesting though.
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