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.
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.
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.
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 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