The third record from American grunge-era-wannabes DIIV comes off the back of a series of controversial and sad events. Embedded deep in its lyricism and sound is a frank reflection on heroin addiction and the pain it brings.
It begins with classic DIIV, thrashing and noisy guitars, it’s so Nirvana it hurts. However, the development of gentle guitar melodies in the backdrop is subtle yet wonderful. It’s these tender, bare-boned moments contradicting the heavy thrash that give this record a different feel. This is the first time DIIV have collaborated together on a record and it shows. There is a collective feel of completion that has lacked in their previous two records; they now opt for a slower, less plucky sound.
The issue I have with it is that it’s almost exactly the same all the way through. It seems that although the development in their sound can be heard between records, it can’t be heard within a record just yet. Every song begins to merge together, sounding either like a tribute to My Bloody Valentine, or a re-creation of Black Sabbath (‘Taker’ is essentially ‘Iron Man’ rewritten). Resultingly, it’s difficult to choose any outright best tune, instead, you have a cocktail of integrating sounds that creates more of what people like to explain as a “body of work”, rather than label as predictable.
Nonetheless, Deceiver shows DIIV at their most exposed. They are consistently strong throughout in retelling the problems that come with substance addiction. There is a genuine sense of picking up the shattered glass of a damaged vase, rebuilding it to its former beauty, a road to recovery and sense of optimism shining through.
Whilst contemplating and not forgetting what has come before, DIIV have created their best record thus far.
Haiku Review Dark exploration Founded upon painful times, Reflect and rebuild,