Still has the same great taste as the regular Cig.Frenchkiss Records, 2017
7.8 / 10
It feels like we’ve been waiting decades for Diet Cig‘s debut full-length. Though, in reality, it’s only been two years since the duo’s EP Over Easy. That just speaks to the impact of that release. Over Easy‘s single, “Harvard”, put a huge spotlight on frontwoman Alex Luciano’s confessional songwriting and her fiery charisma. Thankfully, those qualities carry over to Swear I’m Good At This. Although the band adopts a louder and cleaner sound on their debut, the album’s songs land just as heavy as their DIY past. At just 29 minutes in length, Swear I’m Good At This is a fast, fun experience that produces new anthems for the band.
Look no further than the album’s opening song, “Sixteen”. Alex Luciano punctuates the song with her brazen honesty. Particularly striking is the line, “When I was sixteen/ I dated a boy with my own name/ It was weird in the back of his truck/ Moaning my name while trying to fuck.” Bam! It’s like hearing a very personal diary entry read aloud. However, the song reveals that Luciano’s sex life became common knowledge for everyone. Alex (the boy) betrayed her trust and told everyone. She thought he was more than just a player, but that’s all he was. Immediately Luciano endears herself to the girls everywhere that have experienced such heartache.
Female empowerment is a main theme on Swear I’m Good At This. “Tummy Ache” speaks about the same frustrations vented earlier this year by Bleached on their EP Can You Deal? Luciano sings, “Well, I’m just a kid, a girl, a runt/ And I’m starting to get real sick of/ Trying to find my voice/ Surrounded by all boys.” She follows that up later with, “It’s hard to be a punk while wearing a skirt.” Still, she makes it sound easy as she destroys most all-male punk rock bands with this song. Another song where Luciano fires back is the friendly fuck off, “Link In Bio”. She rebels against what others think she should be. She sings, “I know/ What I want/ So please fuck off!”
While the songs are serious, Luciano does an excellent job of giving them levity. It only strengthens their pop appeal, especially since Luciano and drummer Noah Bowman tend to make all of their songs sound huge. Even “Bath Bomb” breaks from its acoustic opening for a big, thrilling finish. “Blob Zombie” seemingly speaks the mind of all millennials as Luciano sings about wanting to be the best; though, she still wants to sleep in. Sometimes our laziness keeps us from realizing our full potential. But there’s nothing lazy about Diet Cig’s debut. They are pretty good at this.