Diet Cig – Do You Wonder About Me? (Album Review)
Diet Cig – Do You Wonder About Me?
Released: May 1, 2020
Diet Cig Lineup
Alex Luciano | vocals/guitar
Noah Bowman | drums
Diet Cig online:
Forget being compared to other artists, New York’s Indie Punk Rock duo Diet Cig have often been referred to as firecrackers, tornadoes and lightning storms. Have I got your attention or what?
The duo utilised their time in the Summer of 2017 to ‘hide out and make music’ which resulted in their sophomore full-length album Do You Wonder About Me? The new album showcases Diet Cig in a more reformed, self-aware manner, portrayed through emotion provoking lyrics and the duo’s overall sound.
Instead of rehearsing live to an audience like they did when creating their last album Swear I’m Good At This, Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman took an alternative approach and wrote their songs over the course of a year within their practice space in Richmond, VA. This allowed the duo to focus solely on crafting songs that felt true to them, rather than whether they’d be suitable for their high energy live shows.
The album starts off with a highly humorous and relatable track, ‘Thriving’. The band explains that the song is “about the duality of absolutely THRIVING without someone but also desperately wanting them to notice you doing so. Inspired by the melodrama of reality TV and musical theater, we wanted the song to bounce back and forth between a lavish personal anthem and the anguish of feeling forever beholden to others opinions.” The lyrics ‘I hope my hair looks cute when I run into you’ made me laugh and nod my head in agreement. This song will resonate with many, as I’m sure most (if not all of us) have been in a similar situation where we’ve wanted to loudly broadcast how well we’re doing without someone. It will also make you want to sing into a mirror with a hairbrush microphone and you’ve gotta love that.
I already know that ‘Who Are You?’ would be such a joy to see live. The rhythmic clapping at the beginning with the words ‘Who are you to say I’m sorry, when we both know you’d do it all over again’ repeated, then quickly transitions into Bowman’s well known, thrashing cymbals. The charming synth chords in the background of this track also makes it so much fun and I know it’s not the isolation talking, someone get me into the next pub Diet Cig are playing at and buy me a beer.
‘Night Terrors’ was the first taste we got off the new album, with it landing a heavy rotation on Triple J. The unusual combination of raw lyrics throughout this song such as ‘I promise not to kill you in my sleep’ with the honeysuckle sounding breeze of Luciano’s voice, works surprisingly well (kind of like dunking your ice cream into your popcorn at the movies, it wouldn’t make sense until you tried it right?). This track worked so well as the bands first release off the album as it provided fans with a peak into the bands gleaming new direction.
‘Priority Mail’ could be described vocally as one of the most beautiful interludes. Luciano’s voice takes you to a completely different place and makes you feel things you didn’t know you could. The pace is quite different in comparison to the duo’s well known sound, but just as enjoyable. ‘Broken Body’ follows next and creates a super smooth transition by chucking you straight back into Diet Cig’s classic, bouncy sound. This one is an easy listen and I think could be enjoyed by people of all different music tastes.
I was really keen to listen to ‘Makeout (Interlude)’, because the title was so intriguing. The 90s sounding guitar chords and echoey drums ensured I was not let down, though I certainly was left wanting more. That’s the problem with quality interludes huh, they’re never long enough!
‘Flash Flood’ caught me from the get go with fast pace drums and guitar that sounds like it’s straight out of the early 2000s rock era. It would be an absolute riot in a summer festival setting, you can literally envisage the dirt being kicked up, the drinks flying around and the live music aura we know and love. Again though, I am saddened by this being a short song as it probably would have been the crown jewel from the album. However, I can see it working well live as a follow up to ‘Priority Mail’ or one of the bands slower songs, just to inject the crowd with energy once again.
‘Worth The Wait’ started off very promising as it’s darker and grungier than any others on the album, though again as it’s quite short it feels a little like wasted potential (maybe I’m just greedy and would be the one starting the ‘ENCORE’ chant at the end of the gig.) And second to last we have ‘Staring Into The Sun’, which reintroduces some of the charming synths we heard earlier in the album. The build up of Bowman’s marching band drumming and the lyrics ‘I’m tired of starting into, I’m tired of staring into the sun’ come crashing together so effortlessly to then form the bridge and main chorus of the song. I thoroughly enjoyed this track as I felt like it was constructed extremely well, from the endearing chords to the hard hitting combination of the melodic bridge and chorus, it really displays the vast creativity range this band hold.
The album wraps up with ‘Night Terrors (Reprise)’. This version of the song is a lot slower with an effect placed over the top of Luciano’s vocals that almost gives the song a futuristic feel. Normally, I feel like having a repeated song (whether it be the same or slightly changed) would be a waste, however I think it really shines a light on the creative process behind the album. The band mentioned that they felt they almost had something to prove last time, whereas they have now pushed the boundaries and experimented in as many ways as possible to create something that felt unapologetically true to who they are. So, in saying that, I think the reprise of this song worked extremely well to take the album to a close.
Do You Wonder About Me? will take you on a high speed roller coaster of emotions. From unexpectedly dancing on your bed to craving a road trip with the windows rolled down, this album has an irresistible sweetness that will leave you completed addicted.
Diet Cig – Do You Wonder About Me? tracklisting
- Who Are You?
- Night Terrors
- Priority Mail
- Broken Body
- Makeout Interlude
- Flash Flood
- Worth The Wait
- Stare Into the Sun
- Night Terrors (Reprise)
Do You Wonder About Me? is Out May 1 2020 via Frenchkiss Records. Pre-Order here.
Review By Rhiannon Porter
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Great review! What a write up!