- Event Details
Brooklyn four-piece DIIV began late in 2011, as the solo side project of guitarist Zachary Cole Smith. Already part of the popular surf-pop band Beach Fossils, Smith’s guitars had mostly jangled and wailed through dreamy, summery songs. With this new direction, the jangle was replaced with edgy, post-punk bite.
Originally named Dive, after the Nirvana song, the band's name changed out of consideration for a Belgian group who already possessed it. Signed early on to Beach Fossils home label, Captured Tracks, and now with the much more elusive and ominous moniker of DIIV, Smith at first released a series of demo quality singles, still finding his sound in the process. In 2012, he took his demos out of the bedroom and formed a proper live band. Recruiting long time friend and guitarist Andrew Bailey, bassist Devin Ruben Perez, and former Smith Westerns drummer Colby Hewitt, the band recorded and released their debut LP, “Oshin,” last year to critical praise and universal excitement.
The darker, industrial melodies that populate “Oshin’s” tracks are supremely engrossing and irresistibly moving. Honed in on the angular sounds and hypnotic beats that bands like New Order and The Cure pioneered, DIIV has an immediately addicting quality. As Smith’s serenely bleared vocals echo over the dueling guitars, at once sharply energized and hazily tangled, and the punching beat drives everything along; it’s right in the wheelhouse of post-punk/shoegaze/dream pop fans and anyone with a desire to get down while looking down (at the ground).
After the whirlwind year that 2012 was—a year that included playing what seemed like hundreds of shows on both sides of the pond, opening for bands like The Vaccines and Japandroids—DIIV rounded out the year by seeing their album hit basically every big “Best Of” list out there, propelling them into a new year of intense touring and most assuredly a new release. Given this kind of momentum, don’t expect DIIV to come up for air any time soon. CHARLIE SWANSON
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HOLY SHITThough lacking in any religious significance, Holy Shit have been divine inspiration for a number of other successful bands: Ariel Pink, Girls and John Maus have all collaborated at some point with founding member Matt Fishbeck. First record, Stranded at Two Habours, made together with Ariel Pink in 2006, is something of a lost classic. Its nostalgic muddied vocals and lofi sound effects are something that has come to define Ariel Pink’s later work, while Fishbeck’s crooning lullaby pop songs remains distinctly his own.
Since then Fishbeck has continued recording records, in the mean time keeping an evening job as a gondolier on Lake Merritt in Oakland. Perhaps inspired by the success of his friends, Fishbeck has recruited new band members and lined up a number of new releases earlier this year. Although many Holy Shit former band members have since gone on to wider acclaim, Fishbeck seemed destined to linger as cult concern with a devoted internet following. Now that he has returned to touring and working on a record as a band, Fishbeck may hopefully soon be less in the shadow of his previous band members.
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