DIIV: Deceiver (Captured Tracks) - Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, December 10th, 2019  

DIIV

Deceiver

Captured Tracks

Oct 04, 2019 Issue #66 - My Favorite Album - Angel Olsen and Sleater-Kinney Bookmark and Share


The story of DIIV may be littered with tabloid headlines and controversy, yet Zachary Cole Smith and his band of cohorts have been responsible for some of the finest music released this decade.

If 2012's debut Oshin set the scene with its opulent mix of shoegaze, dream pop, and surf rock, 2016'S follow up Is the Is Are demonstrated Smith and co.'s resolve, battling adversity and then defeating every possible obstacle thrown its away. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that their third album Deceiver represents arguably DIIV's finest body of work to date.

With a reshuffle in personnel and co-writer Colin Caulfield switching duties from guitar to bass in light of predecessor Devin Ruben Perez's somewhat acrimonious departure, the songs that eventually became Deceiver began life as rough sketches conceived between shows while on tour last year. Indeed, the majority of these songs formed the bulk of the band's set during October 2018's tour with Deafheaven and having snared esteemed producer Sonny Diperri to provide the finishing touches, their faith in said compositions has paid dividends and then some.

Indeed, Diperri's influence shouldn't be underestimated but then neither should that of Deceiver's composers. Across its 10 pieces, there are forays into shoegaze, post-punk, melancholic folk, and briskly delivered guitar pop that suggests DIIV are equally as comfortable wherever their mood takes them. 

Songs like "Taker" and "For the Guilty" were undoubtedly inspired by Loveless, which is where Diperri's past experience working with My Bloody Valentine came in handy. Whereas "Blankenship" and "The Spark" ooze a pure pop sensibility that in an ideal world would have radio stations across the globe fighting tooth and nail to add them to their prime time playlists.

Elsewhere, "Skin Game" and "Like Before You Were Born" display an added maturity to Smith's lyrical observations, while in having the caustic "Horsehead" and epic "Acheron" bookend the album, he's manage to create a musical novel that's painfully autobiographical yet triumphant in its execution. (www.diiv.net)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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