REVIEW: DIIV – “Oshin”

[June 26th 2012 – Captured Tracks // Find it at: iTunes | Insound]


Drifting through their debut record Oshin, it’s not tedious to see DIIV come off more like reunited shoegaze revolutionaries than what they were prematurely noted for: a Beach Fossils project that did a quick name change. If anything, no one should really build any expectations for the record and instead dig into the musicianship that wades in its depths. In particular, the muscle behind every instrumental shard is an imaginative thing to see. “Air Conditioning” is a melodic rock number that chomps at the ear rather than stings it and while “How Long Have You Known” and “Past Live” trip sickly sweet guitars with Zachary Cole Smith’s alt pop-drenched wail, it’s other rhythmic adventures like “Follow” that drip decadent songwriting down the back of your neck, forcing you to feel every note. It’s just Oshin isn’t a pop album; Smith’s hazy vocals that incite imaginative bursts of love and clinging to dreams don’t click on a mainstream level at all. They instead ride their own wave where songs like “Human” instigate spontaneity and shove you to notice a new bass rumble or indistinct hook from DIIV, even if you’ve spun the record more than seven times. Missing the subtle parts is bothersome but the discovery is absolutely stunning.

Download: “Air Conditioning”, “Wait”, “How Long Have You Known”

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