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.
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.