If you’re aware at all of the borderline underground indie scene in Brooklyn, it’s almost hard to believe that Dive have yet to release any sort of long form release. Fronted by Zachary Cole Smith, a member of Beach Fossils’ live band, Dive has put out several singles on Captured Tracks, but where they’ve been more notable is in their workmanlike dedication to live performance. As we mentioned in our review of a recent Dive set, there was a period of time back in October or November of last year where it seemed like Dive was playing some space in Brooklyn virtually seven days a week. At that time, the number of songs that Dive had officially released could be counted on one hand. So when news of a full-length record, Oshin (due out June 26th), was accompanied by two new tracks, it was a more than a bit exciting.
“How Long Have You Known,” built on the usual haziness that Dive espouses, was a longtime staple of their live set, and here in its recorded form it shines in a new light. Smith’s yearning vocal and tight krauty guitar part seem at the same time so appropriate for a Captured Tracks release and somehow distinct from the rest of the label’s roster. Their brand of beach pop, aside from the krautrock inflections, maintains a bit more of an alt-rock take on the usual Captured Tracks haze. It’s an interesting sound altogether, and “How Long Have You Known” is the most fully formed encapsulation of this sound to date.
Several days later another longtime presence in the Dive live set made its way to the web. “Bambi Slaughter” is a cover of an oft overlooked untitled home demo recorded by Kurt Cobain in pre-Nirvana days. Cobain’s version was sloppy in the way that many home demos are (you have to wonder in how artists would feel about such recordings eventually making their way to the internet), but Dive’s cover is expansive. They reinterpret the recording, not into in a traditionally Nirvana-aping sense, but into something distinctly characteristic of what Dive does. It’s a little more noisy than what they usually do, but it’s an interesting and appropriate tribute to what was clearly a formative influence for the band. “Bambi Slaughter” too is poised for inclusion on Oshin, and if the rest of the album ends up sounding remotely like this, then we’re in for something special.