Diet Cig – ‘Tummy Ache’ (French Kiss Records)

“My Stomach hurts / It’s hard to be punk rock wearing a skirt” sings Alex Luciano, one half of New York punk pop duo Diet Cig. It’s sweetly sung but kick ass in equal measures. I don’t agree though. My favourite punk rockers have always worn skirts, the men, the women, the transfolk… whether the members of Nirvana or Courtney Love or Viv Albertine or Iggy Pop or Zena Davine frontwoman of Queen Zee and the Sasstones. My favourite punk comes scowling and screeching and skirt wearing. Subversion of gender roles has long been the domain of punk after all. But yeah, some people will still stick to the idea that punk and other forms of rock are for men and to be male dominated… which makes Diet Cig all the more appealing. The video to this song features some mini grrrl punk rockers, recruited from recent Willie Mae Girl’s Rock Camp and Girl’s Rock Philly driving around in a van, writing slogans such as ‘Trans Lives Matter’, spraying everything in glitter and performing live at their own DIY all ages shows. One of the aims of GrrrlsWithGuitars is to inspire the next generation of female and non-cis male guitarists and punk musicians to believe that this can be for them too. So it’s a delight to witness other people such as Diet Cig on the same mission, to empower the next generation.

“Trying to find my voice / Surrounded by all boys” The song explores the challenges of trying to find your voice as a female in a male dominated arena. “I don’t need a man to hold my hand / And that’s just something you’ll never understand”- all delivered in a sweetly feminine style, understated and self assured. Quietly confident. The chorus breaks and shimmers as guitars soar, backing Luciano’s beautiful slacker vocals. Sugary vocals interplay with thumping drums and understated guitars. The sound is contemporary and spacious, leaving spaces between the notes as chiming chords stand their ground against the vocal melody. I play it on repeat and the vibe is summer happiness and I want more. I want more women in bands, more of this song, more sunshine punk pop and more lyrics like this… which will soon be delivered on upcoming Diet Cig debut album Swear I’m Good At This.

Diet Cig’s debut album Swear I’m Good At This is due out on April 7th via Frenchkiss Records.

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