Diet Cig: Do You Wonder About Me? (Frenchkiss) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, July 8th, 2020  

Diet Cig

Do You Wonder About Me?

Frenchkiss

May 05, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Diet Cig’s debut, I Swear I’m Good At This, was a colorful coming-of-age story set to scrappy pop punk. While self-effacing, funny, and emotive, it also was very evidently the work of a young band. It delivered a high energy romp with some catchy, heart-on-your-sleeve writing but didn’t shoot much higher than that. Do You Wonder About Me? similarly brings open vulnerability and high-kicks galore, but this effort provides an expanded sonic breadth. It shows a more confident, if less focused, side to the duo. 

The first three songs—“Thriving,” “Who Are You?,” and “Night Terrors”—showcase the band’s style at its best. Their upbeat and campy sound shines on these tracks, starting the album off with a trifecta of joyous pop punk. “Thriving” immediately shows a self-assured maturity to Alex Luciano’s lyrics as she tells a former partner, “I will never hate myself/The way you want me to” before she goes on to state “I’m thriving thanks for asking” on the chorus. On these tracks, drummer Noah Bowman is as capable as always, and provides the perfect accompaniment to Luciano’s expressive vocals. 

Although the band still delivers on the peppy bangers fans will expect, they do throw some curveballs into the tracklist. When these switch-ups hit, as in the case of the moody centerpiece, “Broken Body” or the breakneck punk of “Flash Flood,” it is a tantalizing look at the kind of versatility the band is capable of. Luciano’s delivery on these tracks break from her chirpy and slightly twee vocal performances with a more nuanced delivery that serves these tracks well. Meanwhile, it is quite gratifying to see Bowmen let loose on “Flash Flood.” 

Yet, interspersed among these tracks are “Priority Mail” and “Makeout (Interlude),” which both seem closer to vignettes than well-developed songs. “Priority Mail,” a stark piano ballad, is new territory for the band, and it seems a shame to relegate it to a 50-second song, especially on an already short album. The duo explores these ideas more effectively on “Night Terrors (Reprise)” which draws out the anguish in the lyrics of the more spirited original. The synths and processed vocals complement the darker sound and conjure a dramatically different mood than the original, yet it’s just as effective. 

Do You Wonder About Me? isn’t quite the front-to-back killer album Diet Cig feels capable of, but it is absolutely a step forward for the duo. They sound more confident than ever, and give some enticing hints as to where their sound could go next. While it doesn’t fulfill my every wish for the band, their newest album continues to bring captivating energy and sharp songwriting, confirming that Diet Cig is getting better and better with each project. (www.dietcig.com) 

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10



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