Dive Dive - The Waves Behind (Cover Artwork)

Dive Dive

The Waves Behind (2019)

Landspeed records

With The Waves Behind, Dive Dive have released their first album in eight years (due mainly to ¾ of the band also making up ¾ of Frank Turner’s backing band, The Sleeping Souls) and for better or worse, you can tell. The sound on the record feels familiar, rooted in post-hardcore instrumentation but with a poppier indie sensibility.

The record finds itself sounding the fullest, or most complete, when each member really lets go and rips a little. Sonically, the band can be very technically proficient, and while the sound never gets to full TTNG-esque math rock there are songs like “Wait ‘til I Get You Back Home” that show their full range of talent. The song begins with a fast riff and slightly distorted vocals, and stays that way for the first two verses. But the group then transitions very smoothly into a downtempo indie rock ballad for the remainder of the track.

The songs have a tendency to do that throughout the record, change mid-song. “The Back of My Hand” goes from almost sneering vocals and a driving post-rock vibe, to a hooky rock song by the end of a sub-3 minute song. It works though, as the band has the musical talent to pull it off.

However, the strong instrumentation doesn’t always pull the songs away from a slight stagnation, as the vocal hooks don’t always land. “Making Plans” seems to go through the motions, bringing in a female co-vocalist over a slow building rock ballad. We’ve heard this song so many times now, and this one unfortunately doesn’t stand out. “There’s a Knack To It” has a fun doo-wop sound at first, but the band does little to elevate that first idea, and this song too ends up dragging.

There are song strong ideas in place on The Waves Behind, but they don’t add up to a great record. Instead, the eight year gap has given us a record that, while enjoyable, is more of what we’ve heard before. This may have hit with a bit bigger a splash a few years ago, but it’s still a good listen today.