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First Listen: Dick Diver ‘New Start Again’

News posted Friday, October 14 2011 at 01:00 PM.
Related: Dick Diver.

Some got excited when they heard the F. Scott Fitzgerald-sampling name. More got on board with 2009’s excellent EP Arks Up, and the run of thoroughly top-notch gigs that has followed it. Either way, Dick Diver’s brand of loosey-goosey indie pop has built up its share of admirers. Now their debut full length New Start Again is imminent, and it’s looking like a winner. As with Arks Up, New Start Again was recorded on a rural property with Mikey Young, the ‘Mutt’ Lange of Melbourne garage rock.

It feels a bit weird to pick out the highlights of an album as consistently excellent as this, but here goes:

‘Through The D’

A Rupert Edwards effort, ‘Through The D’ is a great, low-stakes opener. No theatrics, just a nice interwoven guitar riff and a call-and-response with Al McKay. Edwards is bummed out, he keeps seeing his ex, and suspects that he’s been replaced. McKay commiserates with him. Then, out of nowhere in particular, bassist Al Montfort tries to cheer him up with a Robert Forster impersonation. It certainly cheered me up.

‘New Start Again’

‘New Start Again’ is a sweet, summery duet between drummer Steph Hughes and bassist Al Montfort, threaded through with sweet lap-steel. It’s also one of the best songs ever written about the dole and fun runs, certainly one of the most positive.

‘Seagulls’

Sung by Al McKay, ‘Seagulls’ hovers between poignant and ridiculous. It’s really just a series of images; seagulls shitting on bonnets, a banker’s beer gut, a surfboard with cracked resin. Arguably, this makes it more poignant still. There’s nothing poignant about the righteous ‘Cinnamon Girl’ riffage that closes the song out, though.

‘Keno’

Yes, that Keno. A song about luck, and lack thereof, told through the prism of just about the shabbiest lottery known to man. In an album of lyrical one-upmanship, Edwards and McKay probably thought they’d share the title with ‘Ignoring each other like toothbrushes in a cup’, sung in surprisingly sweet harmony. However, Al Montfort knows that ‘Head Back’ is still to come.

‘Flying Tea-Towel Blues’

Almost a case study of the Dick Diver lyrical method; ‘Flying Tea-Towel Blues’ starts off mundane (tea towel on a hills hoist), then it gets surreal (milk, teeth, Africa), before getting to a general point (ageing, the deadening effects of routine) that makes sense of it all. The song reaches an incredible climax, with both McKay and Edwards getting their Tom Verlaine on. Guitars sound like so much fun.

‘Head Back’

Steph Hughes hurries for no-one. Fond of head-nodding mid-tempo grooves, her laid-back beat makes closer ‘Head Back’ one of the head nodding-est songs on the album. This song is all about Al Montfort, though. He reels off one hilarious, ludicrous line after another in his sleepy Chris Bailey sneer. He arranges a guitar duel in real time, sneaks in a bass solo of his own, and blurts out maybe the best lines ever; ‘you call up Kerri-Anne/you go to...GUMBUYA PARK!/you go to Wobby’s World!’ Incredible.


Listen to ‘New Start Again’:


Dick Diver - New Start Again by dickdiver


Dick Diver will be launching ‘New Start Again’ with a free instore appearance at Polyester Records on Friday, October 21 at 6pm, followed by a tour. For full tour dates check here

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Your Comments

untold/animals  said about 3 years ago:

It feels a bit weird to pick out the highlights of an album as consistently excellent as this, but here goes:

Who wrote this?


Bruce <3's Randy  said about 3 years ago:

Great album DD, you guys rule! x


stevereich  said about 3 years ago:

Is this a news item or a review??


watermelon  said about 3 years ago:

hunky


unvisible  said about 3 years ago:

Is this a news item or a review??

I think it's a love letter


rawr  said about 3 years ago:

self-love letter (press release)


Ben  said about 3 years ago:

I nominate that solo at the end of Flying Tea-Towel Blues for ''solo of the year''


woolfat  said about 3 years ago:

this is a really good album though guyyyyss


goingblank  said about 3 years ago:

Listened to half of it just then. Really cool. Streets ahead of Arc's Up.


anonymous  said about 3 years ago:

gone straight to the soundcloud, yeah, its a nice record.


jacksr  said about 3 years ago:

''on the bank'' is great


BIG PUSSY  said about 3 years ago:

great band. great record.


thedropkick  said about 3 years ago:

sounds great


goldbuttons  said about 3 years ago:

I think it's a love letter

warranted. So glad Flying Tea Towel Blues is on there.


celluloid hero  said about 3 years ago:

mikey young outdoes himself once again. sounds GREAT.


dickfacekillah  said about 3 years ago:

Which one is from U.V Race?


MelonHCST  said about 3 years ago:

Played some Dick Diver on The Slap.
Big time.


SingleLesbianMother  said about 3 years ago:

Sounds to me like early Best Coast! I love this new stuff! Is this the same Steph Hughes from radio?! I have always wondered what she looks like! I like her voice! Her talking voice and her singing voice!


andydepressant  said about 3 years ago:

My mate Justy would love this.


nishiki  said about 3 years ago:

i love this band.


SpeckFisted  said about 3 years ago:

This sounds really nice. I saw them live and they were loose as WD40, and not in a good way.


rawr  said about 3 years ago:

I nominate that solo at the end of Flying Tea-Towel Blues for ''solo of the year''

yeah, i think i like this band's guitar solos more than their songs.


SingleLesbianMother  said about 3 years ago:

I like the name! So funny! Makes me laugh every time!


Tom+  said about 3 years ago:

Which one is from U.V Race?
UV guitarist Al is DD bass player Al.


pleasedonot  said about 3 years ago:

This album is just fucking brilliant. I'm so impressed with the calibre of some of the music coming out of Melbourne right now!


history  said about 3 years ago:

Brilliant album, recommend highly! Some real standouts on this one, huge step up from the last one.


woolfat  said about 3 years ago:

I'm so impressed with the calibre of some of the music coming out of Melbourne right now!

THIS


alec m  said about 3 years ago:

I love New Start Again, Through the D and Interstate Forever. Great songs


alec m  said about 3 years ago:

I also got gut laughs from the last song. Classic


mystics-union  said about 3 years ago:

sa flipping good. dead-set.


ChapterMusic  said about 3 years ago:

Dick Diver are playing tonight at Polyester records in the city at 6pm.
It's free and all ages!
Steph is still OS so the boys will be playing in trio mode. She'll be back for all the launch shows though!


woolfat  said about 3 years ago:

we're playing this in the office today. blissful!


foxhawk  said about 2 years ago:

Does the LP come with digital download code?


ChapterMusic  said about 2 years ago:

there sure is a download code with the vinyl.


monochromic  said about 2 years ago:

loving this! shall be the soundtrack to the summer i feel.


ChapterMusic  said about 2 years ago:

we're sending out a bunch of these today. order one soon if you want to make today's post!


Repressed Records  said about 2 years ago:

Our copies just arrived in the mail. The artwork looks great printed, nice thick card stock on the sleeve too. Love the insert, ''Practical, stable and determined and dependable Al is the steadying influence on everyone around him''. Too true! Nice one Chapter Records & Dick Diver.


Popboomerang  said about 2 years ago:

ordered last night!


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