Before the singles supporting ‘Deceiver’ came out, I had only listened to DIIV casually. But as soon as I heard the heavy shoegaze-grunge 2nd single, “Taker”, I knew I really had to get into this band. Usually I’m a little worried about listening to singles too much before an album release, and that I’ll get bored of it, but I know that it’ll take a long time before I stop loving this song.
When I put this album on for the first time, almost as soon as I saw it appear on Spotify, I was greeted with the amazing “Horsehead” which was pretty much what I was hoping for after loving “Taker” so much. And the same thing happened with the second track, “Like Before You Were Born”. The only thing was that both these songs were a little less heavy and more dreamy. But even while losing a little of what made “Taker” so special, ‘Deceiver’ so far still lived up to expectations. Next up was “Skin Game”. I hadn’t loved it so much when it came out as the first single. But hearing it follow the first two tracks’ heavy shoegaze, the way it combined their older Beach Fossils-style (who frontman Zachary Cole Smith played with for their debut album) with their new sound made it fit right into the flow of the album.
Even after the stellar first couple of tracks, ‘Deceiver’ never loses its footing. “The Spark” and “Blankenship” are more straightforward indie rock songs, but they are very well-written and still have that special vibe that makes this whole album so great. “For the Guilty” sounds like it’s straight off of ‘Loveless’ at times, and soft dream pop at other times. And like many of the songs on here, it all comes together and erupts into a heavy climax in the last minutes or so.
‘Deceiver’ is the perfect step forward for DIIV after their last album, which while solid wasn’t particularly noteworthy. Their new album progresses from heavy shoegaze sounds to more typical guitar based indie rock songs and slow, dreamy pieces, giving us something for all kinds of indie fans. Yet it all flows together perfectly, with zero weak links, and stays grounded to the band’s new sound. For example even the slow, dreamy “Lorelei” finishes off with a super distorted, drawn out guitar solo. After just a few listens I can already tell that ‘Deceiver’ is going to be one of my favorite albums from the last few years.