Swear I’m Good at This
Swear I’m Good At This is the first LP to come out of New Paltz, NY punk outfit Diet Cig and God does it sing. If there was a metaphor that could be linked to the band’s name, then the album itself is a finely wrapped cigar containing all the contrivances and trials of being a fledgling adult in your twenties. It’s a different punk record from a fresh cut; rather than smashing out explosive choruses of political destabilisation and cynicism, it’s unique in that it plays on the introspective self, giving the listener a chance to look inwards into how they feel inside, rather than the disparate situation they may find themselves looking outwards at.
Opening with the ominous, reverbed overdrive of the guitar in Sixteen, vocalist Alex Luciano tells a tale of hooking up and dealing with the onslaught rumours. It’s a pleasing punk anthem that welcomes the listener with the social contrivances of a gen Y’er. Bite Back explodes with a strong back beat and a furious verse and chorus but contains the gentleness of a sympathetic voice – showing a sliver of vulnerability. Link In Bio allows the intro of the album to roll off into a gentle, carefree apathy, with the hazed out words “I’m done” from Luciano particularly hitting home.
Maid of the Mist, Leo and Apricots let the first half of the LP roll over into an overly sympathetic punk piece, one moment blowing you away with its beguiling power chords but then giving you a gentle pat on the shoulder through Luciano’s lyrical ambivalence, making you feel better for maybe screwing up that one social occasion.
Barf Day finishes on an awesome breakdown which tugs on the heartstrings whilst Bath Bomb punches you in the gut with its gentle opening and disparity between that and its large, undulating finish with Luciano screaming “I’m sorry”.
Blob Zombie picks up the pace and is a potential mosh number with its quick tempo-ed drumbeat whilst Road Trip gives an innocent depiction on the dreams of youth and lack of responsibility that follows. The LP finishes with I Don’t Know Her and Tummy Ache with the latter track epitomising the main vibe of the record – asking the question of what is a punk and what the scene is – leaving the listener to surmise and reflect on what the current scene.
Swear I’m Good At This is a testament to the twenty-something punk rocker.