Some things change and some things stay the same. We all know that, and that’s the case too for Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman, aka Diet Cig who’s second album ‘Do you wonder about me’ is just out. They’ve changed in more ways than one, relocating to Richmond, Virginia for the record, but their songwriting has also moved forward too since 2017’s debut ‘Swear I’m Good at This’, with accomplished side-steps and changes of direction added to their indie/pop punk armoury. Still the same though, is their wit and their tunes, which shine thoughout.
Often light-hearted and occasionally sugary, lyrically the album delves into love, lovelorn, err, dating someone with the same name as you….. “It was weird in the back of his truck/Moaning my own name while trying to fuck” being one of the best (Yes, and probably only) lines on the subject ever, with a smattering of sex, heartache and everyday lift give me the treatment.
It’s an album that strides a gambit of styles, from the sweet Priority with this charming descending piano and a static bass hum being the only accomapaniment, and the sweet innocence that purveys Worth the Wait right through to the riot grrl (pop)punk of Broken Body and Flash Flood. In between, it skirts around shoegaze in ’Stare into the Sun’, but hits you right between the eyes with two of the bands sharpest melodies in Thriving and Night Terrors.
Best of all is Who Are You? Which mixes up the sweet and the souped up, with just about as catchy a melody as you can imagine, while Luciano’s frayed guitar is never left to wander, Bowman’s drumming constantly driving that particular taxi.
By the time the album finishes, with a slower, more reticent reprise of Night Terrors, smothered in synth sounds and electric hue, the whole thing about staying the same and changing becomes clear. This is the same Diet Cig, just a better version of it. And they were pretty good for a start.
Do you worry about me? is out now on Frenchkiss Records