Diet Cig // Swear I'm Good At This
Swear I'm Good at This, pop-punk duo Diet Cig's latest release, is a blast of molasses-edged vocals, refreshing lyrics, and satisfying instrumentals -- the musical equivalent of a young adult novel discovered in your twenties that still hits home in all the right ways.
Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman perfectly capture the new adult, existential angst that countless think-piece articles and cable dramas have aimed for in recent years, all tied up in sweet, poppy melodies with upbeat drums driving forward each track.
Lyrics such as "I don't know why I'm not trying / to feel better ... Something nice about knowing everyone feels helpless / No one wants to think they are all alone in this" in "Bite Back" and the opening lines of "Maid of the Mist," "I wanna hold a seance / For every heart I've broken / Put them all in a room / And say 'get over it'" make Swear I'm Good at This stand out among other debut albums in the genre.
Another hallmark of the album is the understated but clearly present feminist themes running throughout, from "And I am bigger than the outside shell of my body / And if you touch it without asking then you'll be sorry" in "Maid of the Mist" to "I don't need a man to hold my hand / And that's just something you'll never understand ... And what if I'm always talking too loud? / 'Cause it's hard to be a punk while wearing a skirt" in the closing track "Tummy Ache." These touches take Diet Cig from a clever, enjoyable pop-punk act to a band with a mission behind their music.