Frog in Boiling Water – The Apocalyptic Fourth Album by DIIV

Frog in Boiling Water – The Apocalyptic Fourth Album by DIIV

If you drop a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will frantically try to climb out. But if you gently place it in a pot of lukewarm water and gradually raise the temperature, the frog will sink into a peaceful stupor. Before long, with a smile on its lips, it will allow itself to be boiled to death without resistance.

The frog immersed in boiling water is a metaphor for the slow and relentless collapse of a civil society reaching the final stage of capitalism. It’s an allegory of a world where a whole series of brutal realities are now accepted as “normal” and “inescapable”. Capitalism is the boiling water, and we are the frogs.

This is the ideological premise from which the fourth, outstanding album by DIIV originates. For the Brooklyn quartet led by Zachary Cole Smith, “Frog in Boiling Water” marks their first official release in 5 years. It embodies a dystopian concept with dark undertones, its lyrics alluding to an imaginary society, “soul-net”, futuristic yet not far from reality. The society’s purpose is to neutralize any action or thought even remotely anti-capitalist, operating through a website (, definitely worth visiting).

I DIIV annunciano il nuovo album Frog in Boiling Water in uscita il 24 maggio tramite Fantasy - Concord - nziria magazine
I DIIV. A dx, il leader Zachary Cole Smith


Produced by Chris Coady, Frog in Boiling Water is an album with a distinct identity, characterized by feedback, romanticism, and ethereal sounds. It sits midway between shoegaze and dream-pop, reminiscent of the spectrum from Slowdive to My Bloody Valentine. A compilation of electric sounds reminiscent of ’90s post-rock, enhanced by sophisticated melodies that bring DIIV’s songwriting into the contemporary era.

“In Amber” and “Brown Paper Bag,” the opening tracks, clearly set the tone for the album. Overdrive, arpeggios, and ethereal vocal lines create a dissonant chant, speaking of disillusionment towards the modern world, intensifying in the verses of subsequent tracks.

Look into my eyes
Repeat the lie
Can we still have hope
Remind me why
Our parasites still have control

This alternating blend of energetic and atmospheric moments enhances the enveloping sensation that permeates the album throughout its duration. The flow is heavy, dark, almost oppressive, occasionally punctuated by shards of light (such as “Little Birds” and “Somber the Drums”).

The true highlights of the album are the quartet of exquisite gems that preceded its release. “Everyone Out,” the title track, “Raining on Your Pillow,” and especially “Soul-Net,” are authentic masterpieces that captivate from the first listen. They are postcards from a world in ruins, immersed in a virtual limbo where pain fails to manifest angrily and instead assumes the shape of a personal nightmare, perhaps all the more devastating for it.



If “Frog In Boiling Water” had been released in the early ’90s, it might have gone unnoticed, overshadowed by masterpieces like Slint’s “Spiderland.”

Thirty years later, such an album takes on a different flavor and proves to be more than commendable, perhaps because this style of rock music is more appreciated today than it was back then.

Making introspection and mastering effects pedal techniques central to their music-making process is a genuine credo. From this perspective, DIIV has shown themselves to be a band that has moved beyond the hype of their debut to establish themselves with the quality of their songwriting, weaving their obsession with reverberation into the fabric of melody and delivering one of the standout genre albums of 2024.

Rating: 7

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Scritto da Jack Div
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