Photo by Nick Grennon
Diet Cig are a pop-punk pair from New York State with attitude and a full sound to back it up. Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman got their start in New Patz, New York, when they met at a house show in 2014. Alex asked Noah if he had a lighter during his band’s set, but he gave her a bottle of wine instead. After that, the two hit it off. Alex agreed to film a music video for Bowman’s band at the time, but then decided that she wanted to be the one calling the shots, rather than continuing to stand around and let the boys do it. She enlisted Bowman, a seasoned drummer who had been in several bands, to help guide her project. Although Luciano had never been in a band and knew only a few guitar chords, the two recorded their first EP, Over Easy, a few months later on Halloween night of 2014.
Over Easy is full of tongue-in-cheek lyrics and straightforward instrumental backings. Luciano’s lyrics represent the oppression girls can face in their local DIY scenes, she highlights how frustrating it is to feel the need to constantly prove yourself in “Scene Sick”. My personal favorite from the EP is “Harvard” which is pretty much about feeling betrayed by an ex when seeing his new girlfriend. Luciano rails against lying men who will tell you anything they think you want to hear, then go out and do the exact opposite with a simple, yet catchy chorus.
Diet Cig’s debut album, Swear I’m Good at This, was released on April 7, 2017 and follows the same model the duo built for themselves on Over Easy. Songs like “Sixteen” discuss the weirdness that comes with growing up and coming of age as Luciano sings about dating a boy with the same name (Alex). She eloquently embodies the struggles of young women as they try to force their way into male-dominated spaces while figuring out their own feminine identities (if that’s what they chose). Swear I’m Good at This is a big shout out to all the femmes trying to make their way in the world. Fans of Best Coast, Mitski, and Girlpool are sure to be delighted by the energy and bada**ness brought to the stage by Diet Cig.
Photo by CJ Harvey
Our tour with Diet Cig are The Spook School, from Edinburgh, Scotland. The quartet bases their sweet as candy, yet still quite punk sound, on their experiences as trans and queer folxs, along with their opinions on European politics, body image, and sexual assault. “Bad Year” from their 2018 release, Could It Be Different?, is about the political climate of fear and uncertainty in the wake of the Brexit vote. The opening track of that album, “Still Alive” is an anthem about surviving sexual assault. The band preaches positivity and love in the face of an incredibly depressing world. They also request that the venues they play at provide gender neutral bathrooms in order to create a safe space for all who want to attend their shows. Their songs are easy to get down to and chalked full of themes that should be listened to and discussed by everyone.
Finally, the hometown darlings Great Grandpa will be joining Diet Cig and The Spook School at Chop Suey. I’m super pumped to see all the bands, but Great Grandpa especially because of their poppy grunge sound. I was introduced to Great Grandpa by fellow Music Reporter Julia Schwab, when she wrote a preview about a show they were playing in late 2017! They released their debut album, Plastic Cough, in July 2017 and it’s bursting with undisputed bangers like “Teen Challenge” and “NO”. The band is a product of Seattle’s very own DIY scene and they have come far since their formation in 2014. Lead vocalist, Alex Menne, has a unique voice that draws the listener in and coaxes them into singing along with the witty lyrics about zombies and people who are really boring.
Catch these three KILLER bands at Chop Suey on February 11! Tickets are available here and doors open at 8:00 PM, see ya there!
Keep up with the bands on twitter @dietcig @spookschool and @greatgrampsband! Plus, find all their music on Spotify and give ‘em a like on Facebook!
HALEY PARSONS | : – ) | KXSU Music Reporter