A bewilderingly underrated gem of British rock music
Dive Dive’s third full-length was recorded during brief downtime afforded to three quarters of the group who otherwise ply their trade touring relentlessly in Frank Turner’s band. ‘Potential’ is far from a half-arsed, hastily stitched together record, though. It stays true to the Oxford four-piece’s tradition of crafting smart pop hooks within songs that thrive purely through massive – but never overblown – melodies and affecting lyrics. Singer Jamie Stuart’s charmingly bratty voice perfectly fronts a sound that, if we’re looking to pigeonhole things, falls somewhere between post-punk and post-hardcore. Adhering to the banality of genre brackets doesn’t do Dive Dive justice, though: as with their preceding albums, 05’s ‘Tilting At Windmills’ and 07’s ‘Revenge Of The Mechanical Dog’, ‘Potential’ never hits a bum note. From opener ‘Mr 10%’ and its immediately memorable lyrical refrain of “I wouldn’t do that, I wouldn’t do that to you”, every song impressively stands out on its individual merits. Single ‘Liar’ is insanely catchy; the smart, stripped-back ‘Ape Like Me’ is subtly powerful, while the double-whammy of ‘The Point Is’ and ‘Your Call Is Important’ are both brilliant in their punchy urgency. Dive Dive are a bewilderingly underrated gem of British rock music, and this album is unsurprisingly excellent.