DIIV Deciever Captured Tracks
DIIV’s angelic shoegaze falls from grace on a dark, vital and transformative third album. Now based in Los Angeles, the personal traumas of singer Zachary Cole Smith have triggered a number of shifts in the band’s songwriting, with explicitly personal lyricism matched by confrontational music that bleeds into the red.
It’s a harsher sound but still oddly beautiful, channelling recent touring partners Deafheaven, Nothing, or the darker edge of My Bloody Valentine. Lead single Skin Game is the sound of shocked self-realisation, with those piercingly confessional lyrics backed by incisive group reverberations. Moving beyond the fragmentary approach that dominated on 2016’s Is the Is Are, here the songs billow out, using the space afforded by longer track lengths to fully explore each idea. Taker feels magnetic, while seven-minute closer Acheron lurches out of the stereo in a cloud of fuzzed out effects.
Production from Sonny Diperri is as raw and emphatic as you would expect from someone with Nine Inch Nails on their CV. There’s a stark beauty, too: Lorelei dips into mythology while sharing its title with a Cocteau Twins song, and For the Guilty emerges in a transfixing blast of white noise before exposing the band’s love of Elliott Smith’s songwriting. A unified and united experience, Deceiver affords DIIV the room for redemption.