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Diet Cigs : Swear I’m Good At This

7.5

Diet Cig embodies a remarkable mix of fun, quirkiness, intensity and melancholy. Sixteen is the perfect example. Opening with the line “When I was sixteen, I dated a boy with my own name… it was weird.” This could come across as a novelty but feels sincere coming from lead singer Alex Luciano. Then that punk-riff tempo change turns it into something immediately catchy and likeable. Link in Bio is filled with angst, and sounds like every female-led, pop-punk band from the late ‘90s –impressive considering how many bands are still trying to achieve that sound. Apricots is trying to be a bit too cutesy, and unfortunately doesn’t pack the same emotional punch. Thankfully Barf Day, goes in the opposite direction. It’s full of gritty-garage guitar and fist-pumping percussion.
 
Bath Bomb is a bit of a miss, showing clear restraint when they should’ve gone harder. The album finishes on the same youth-filled energy it started with. Road Trip is pure pop, while IDon’t Know Her applies layered instrumentals to gradually build momentum. Closer Tummy Ache is the best song by far. As with the opening track this feels more sincere than gimmicky; a testament to Luciano’s heart-felt lyrics and delivery.  
 
By Chris Bright