Diet Cig – ‘Do You Wonder About Me?’ album review

Diet Cig Do You Wonder About Me? album review Frenchkiss Records

After taking some time off their constant touring schedule to work on new songs, Diet Cig follow up 2017’s ‘Swear I’m Good at This’ with new album ‘Do You Wonder About Me?’. This collection of short, shartp and spiky songs find the duo – Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman – grappling with past versions of themselves and examining topics ranging from finding your identity to dealing with self-loathing issues.

The album opens with ‘Thriving’, a song that is packed with fuzzy garage rock riffs and anti-folk sensibilities as the band look over a toxic relationshipas Alex asks: ‘Did you think that you could bring me down? Well, go tell your friends, no, this isn’t the end. I promise you I will be sticking around’. There’s a defiant tone when she later repeats her question and answer: ‘Do you wonder about me? I’m thriving, thanks for asking’.

Recent single ‘Who Are You?’ opens with a burst of handclaps you can’t fail to join in with before the riffs kick in along with the repeated mantra of ‘Who are you to say ‘I’m sorry’ when we both know you do it over again’. The blistering drums that surround the observations around reconnecting with someone you no longer trust (‘I have a quick question… Is this just self-preservation?’) add extra impetus while ‘Night Terrors’ is a stream-of-consciousness account of bad dreams that could lead to a breakdown: ‘There’s a man at the end of my bed and he wants my soul’.

‘Broken Body’ finds the guitars turned up against a wall of feedback-entrenched noise that brings to mind Sleater-Kinney. It finds Alex opening up about mental health struggles as she says ‘I can’t remember the last time I felt good inside my head’ and laments that ‘I can’t even walk one fucking block from my house. I’m missing all the things that make me feel alive’. ‘Flash Flood’ has a punk rock feel with frenetic riffs and lyrics about singing from the rooftops – a huge contrast to the more sombre ‘Worth the Wait’. This song is doused in synths and ambient background noise as Alex lists her anxieties and reveals her inner-thoughts: ‘Just because my ears are ringing doesn’t mean someone’s talking about me. I like to think everyone’s too busy in this big city’.

‘Stare into the Sun’ has more of a big anthemic indie sound that will delight fans of Frankie Cosmos while the closing reprise of ‘Night Terrors’ is both futuristic and serene as Alex reaffirms her ‘promise not to kill you in my sleep’ and captures the confusion and conflicting feelings that come with some relationships: ‘Wouldn’t it be better if we spent more time apart? Would it be better if our love wasn’t defined by art?’; ‘I want you to wake up next to me’.

On their second album, Diet Cig are more open with their battles with the modern world while their sound is more confident and dynamic than ever before.

 

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