DIIV – 'Oshin' album review

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  • DIIV – 'Oshin'

    Rating: 4/5
    by Jonny Ensall

    Let’s hear it for reverb. Let’s hear it for the sound of long summer nights, only half-remembered, that were probably the best times of your life. Let’s hear it for Polaroids and girlfriends, flowers and drugs, cassettes and sunsets. In other words, let’s hear it for DIIV.

    The band – formerly Dive, now, like fellow haze merchant Wavves embracing deliberate misspelling as DIIV – is the new project of Zachary Cole Smith, guitarist with excellent dream-pop group Beach Fossils. The guitar lines have barely skipped a beat between the two bands, with Cole Smith picking out exquisite, ear-pleasing melodies on his six string like floating seeds on the summer breeze. This debut album is one long pleasurable sigh of music.

    Lyrics are used sparingly, and when they are – as on ‘How Long Have You Known’ – they’re simple, murmur-along refrains. ‘Forever. Forever. Forever. Forever.’ goes the chorus. ‘Follow’ is an eerily evocative two minutes 46 seconds of tunefulness. ‘Air Conditioning’ strikes a darker, blues-y balance between chugging rhythm guitar and those airborn melodies. But the contrast is slight.

    There’s little to differentiate track from track. In fact, there’s little to differentiate DIIV from every other band, from The Drums to Best Coast, also borrowing hollow twangs and shades of fuzz from shoegaze, surf, grunge and psychedelia to create beautiful trancelike inner worlds within the music.

    The songs, you could argue, all sound kind of the same. But they also all sound kind of great – guitar hooks spinning round and round in your mind, forever, forever, forever, forever...