DIIV
Oshin


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Downer STAFF
July 9th, 2012 | 45 replies | 15,121 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Please God, no more flubbed portmanteaus.

I’m a little pissed at DIIV. Like, DIIV? Oshin? Druun? Give me some more credit, dudes. I would’ve used a shit ton of water imagery in this review without you spoon-feeding me it. Now what am I gonna write? Oshin sounds like it’s coming from underwater? It’s a dream-pop/post-punk hybrid drenched in reverb, drowning guitar lines and washing the vocals away? The hooks come in waves, the choruses swell, all while a solid rhythm section keeps the whole thing afloat? Okay, I’m having fun, but it feels like I’m regurgitating a press kit here, describing your sound with the same clichés used to talk about every shoegaze album ever, when Oshin is so much more than an excuse to casually toss “awash” into a paragraph.

Or maybe it isn’t? Who knows. Let’s face it: the fact that DIIV is a guy in Beach Fossils doing the whole reverb/ocean thing while aggressively bastardizing nautical terminology makes the project sound like another one of the billion beach-fetishizing Brooklyn bands with scissor-cut shorts and ironic hats filtering jangly summertime pop through Instagram. Maybe that’s all they’ll be, big-picture-wise, but blame that on the moment and not the band. I was ready to brush Oshin aside and write a big ol’ fart of a review on originality and oversaturation and how Pitchfork has begun to grasp at any bullshit that fits the indie-culture hegemony they must perpetuate to survive, but stunned was I to discover a genuinely thrilling guitar record.

And on that record: all of the songs on Oshin are good. A lot of them are really good. So good are these songs that you don’t realize they’re all sort of the same until you’ve gone through, like, seven of them, and even then it’s difficult to fault DIIV for sticking to one sound since they do it so well. Oshin is frontloaded; the first half is the dreamier one, all major-chord anthems and the site of the aforementioned hook-waves (“Human’s” chorus in particular calls up this image). Each of the first five tracks sticks out, which is impressive considering DIIV’s sound is predicated on making things indistinct. The second half has a similar air but it tints things slightly darker; “(Druun, Pt. II)” (another reason I’m pissed at DIIV: “flubbed portmanteaus”) marks the first time the record gets aggressive, rocking the jun-jun-junna-jun bassline like Deerhunter’s “Nothing Ever Happened.” After that, the record hits a lull, repeating itself until “Doused” and “Home,” the album’s hardest and easiest tracks, provide the necessary variation to pull you back in.

And just like that, it’s over, as humbly as it began, with a little bit of flair and a pleasant sonic palette. Oshin isn’t the kind of record that stuns or ignites or does anything “important” records do. It isn’t particularly ambitious. But it is beautiful, and, occasionally, it touches. It is definitely of the current moment in that it has all the signifiers of an album held together with Nostalgia Spackle (™), but its impeccable songwriting is making me think more and more that this is a bit timeless, a future generation’s lost gem, a handy rec for a friend looking to get into more early 2010s dream-pop. And shit, if nostalgia is everything, why not get nostalgic for right now?



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user ratings (179)
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3.5
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyrael
July 9th 2012



20742 Comments


Sweet review & album

klap
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2012



10258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hey this is the dude from beach fossils?

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

robin
Emeritus
July 9th 2012



4241 Comments


nothing like adam downer talking about getting around to reviewing < 3

AggravatedYeti
July 9th 2012



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yessir!

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2012



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

hey this is the dude from beach fossils?


he's not THE dude, but a dude. Touring guitarist, I believe

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

klap
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2012



10258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

nice, will listen

PuddlesPuddles
July 9th 2012



4767 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Ugh sa gay

Dave de Sylvia
Moderator
July 9th 2012



34 Comments


An alt/indie review from Adam Downer.

YoYoMancuso
July 9th 2012



10890 Comments


nice review man

Polymath
July 9th 2012



3836 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Great review Adam Ernest Downer, you are very smart.

Sleaper
July 9th 2012



3325 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this thing is nice.....Mmmmmmmm

Digging: Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

wabbit
July 10th 2012



6978 Comments


Downer I didn't read this but would I like it?

macadoolahicky
July 10th 2012



1835 Comments


A comment from Dave de Sylvia.

jackalope11
July 10th 2012



330 Comments


Didn't think this would get a good review. I had the impression this was just more noodling around a guitar with a shit ton of reverb, but the noodling is meaningless and annoying

chambered49
July 10th 2012



1727 Comments


holy shit an adam downer review. will get

Irving
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2012



7144 Comments


Not enough teenage sex in this review.

808muzik
July 11th 2012



935 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Is it just me, or does this album bring to mind Real Estate?

Digging: Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

OnlyAnchors
July 11th 2012



867 Comments


more teenge sex [2] but otherwise an absolutely stunning review

sniper
July 11th 2012



19009 Comments


this sounds like wu lyf trying to play chillwave.

in other words, fucking great.

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

Omnisonic
July 11th 2012



119 Comments


I heard "Doused" on one of the Sirius stations a couple months ago and loved the hell out of it. Curious to hear the rest of this one.



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