Released: 1st May 2020
Back in 2017, Diet Cig released their debut album, ‘Swear I’m Good At This’; a large helping of polished pop hooks, hyper-honest lyrics and with a 90s drawl to match. It put them on the peppy-punk pedestal and made them the go-to band for anyone longing for sounds that once filled the walls of Delaware’s Empire Records. Now they’re back to reaffirm their spot as the straight-talking teen angst band, unafraid of bearing their deepest insecurities, with follow-up ‘Do You Wonder About Me?’.
Opener ‘Thriving’, offers the same self-love mantra as a Lizzo banger, but with heavier sprinklings of glittery grunge. “Do you wonder about me? / “I’m thriving, thanks for asking” Alex Luciano cries in a call and response, highlighting the conflicting feelings we often face at the end of a relationship – the need to feel self-assured when moving onwards, whilst still unable to fully let go – allowing self-doubt to creep in and eventually surface.“Who are you to say I’m sorry / When we both know you’ll do it all over again” is on a loop against light percussive patterns during the intro of ‘Who Are You?’, but it’s not long before guttural guitars kick in to the pre-breakup ballad. Lead single, ‘Night Terrors’ reveals Alex’s anxieties on enabling someone to see all of her as she reveals “want you to wake up next to me / Sorry when I dream I scream / Had night terrors every day this week / Promise not to kill you in my sleep” in a melodic chorus, against rolling drum beats.
The New York two-piece have never shied away from shorter snippets of alt-rock riffs, with ‘Link in Bio’ and ‘Apricots’ in their debut, and their second offering is no exception. Despite being less than a minute, ‘Priority Mail’ gives us a short but most definitely sweet piano-filled piece, where Alex shows off the saccharine side to her vocals, while in ‘Flash Food’, a menagerie of scuzzy guitar work and pounding drums which leads to Alex stretching her vocal cords for a lasting shriek.
Contrary to their album titles, ‘Swear I’m Good At This’ and ‘Do You Wonder About Me?’, these New Yorkers don’t need to reassure us of their greatness. They’re thriving, thanks for asking.