Crate Skimmers #21 Diet Cig – Over Easy & the year 2015

Owned: since: 2020 

Genre: Indie pop rock

Where I bought it:  Father/Daughter mystery vinyl deal

Year: 2015

Label/pressing:  Father/Daughter Records, green egg vinyl

2015 sucked, I can be really honest about that. It might have been the worst year I had so far in my life. Partly through medical reasons I flunked out of college, some people close to me passed away and I mostly spent the next 2 years in some kind of void where I just didn’t really go out a lot. Still went to the rare show, but most of the time I would avoid people I knew and even more just overall avoiding people in real life. Mostly just moping around in my bedroom and picking up the odd job, sometimes to bring in a bit of income to shutter myself in for a couple months. It just wasn’t good at all, even though breaking through some hard things turned out OK for me nowadays. But honestly, it just felt like a good couple years in there that halted and destroyed a lot of things. 

It really got a hold on my musical tastes also, this for sure was the period I really got into death metal and over dramatic experimental music again and kinda just abandoned a lot of pop and rock music. Just take a look at my archived best of 2015 top ten:

1 J. Albert – Dance Slow

Distanced empty dancing music

2 Circuit des Yeux – In Plain Speech

More depressing singer-songwriter music, this time with heavy drone and avant garde overtones

3 Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle

While slotting into the indie stuff, this is among the most depressing albums released in the last 10 years for me personally.

4 Cloud Rat – Qliphoth

Experimental grindcore with heavy death metal and power violence influences 

5 Varg – Star Alliance

A future entry in this series, brilliant ambient techno

6 Ghastly Spats – Spinozism Exorcism

Australian throwback stuff to the more drug fueled depressive side of 80’s noise rock

7 Joanne Robertson – Black Moon Days

Depressing minimal guitar led singer-songwriter stuff 

8 Pissgrave – Suicide Euphoria

Do I really need to tell you this is death metal?

9 Lil Ugly Mane – Third Side of Tape

Two hours full of brilliant but utterly bizarre experimental hip hop which dives into a million genres

10  dreamcrusher – Hackers All of Them Hackers 

Full blown power electronics noise music that is full with all-covering glitching.

It for sure isn’t a year for sunshine and lollipops even if Carly Rae Jepsen did brighten the day a little bit at the end of the year with E•MO•TION, there wasn’t really a lot of contemporary indie rock in my listening patterns that year. Music remains something that is so closely linked to your mood it kind of influences your likes and dislikes so much. 

It for sure wasn’t the year to fall in love with Diet Cig for me, also. The infectious rudimentary take on indie rock Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman launched on Over Easy is pretty much everything I wasn’t listening to in 2015 and still it awakens some old flames in me. I’m a sucker for a good hook and an easy 3-chord song(Doug Martsch once sang the ones for a good second chorus are A D E and D) which is well this EP’s bread and butter. There is no song going for 2.50 minutes, with most even barely making the 2 and it honestly sounds like a band which has been together less than a year. There are so many power chords, the lyrics are awkward and the drumming while good really is there mostly as background noise with the monotone guitar. 

Still, everything works here. It gets by on charm mostly, for sure this isn’t a band that was going to headline a show anytime soon. They don’t even have the length of songs for a decent opening set but you can’t also deny the fact that they’re just infectious and fun. Like the start of Scene Sick goes 

I’m sick of hearing about your band
I don’t want to hear about who you think I am
I don’t care (X6)

It mostly just recalls a lot of the more of the 90’s minimal indie-rock bands with a more happy outlook for me and for sure all the bands Rose Melberg had in the 90’s (Go Sailor, Tiger Trap, Gaze, The Softies). Which are bands I all adore for their simplicity and honesty; there is no hidden layer to Over Easy, it’s just 10 minutes of songs of your ex’s new Harvard girlfriend, being tired of your music scene and ‘just want to get cool’. This is literally someone who never played guitar before this band, oh boy the power chords, and a really a indie rock drummer that really never had a break through launching into what is pretty much the music equivalent of drunkenly talking shit about your scene at some guy’s balcony at 03:00. Which, honestly, is the best thing you can do most of the time because scenes are the fucking worst.

Honestly, Scene Sick was the most relatable song for me in 2015. I was tired of most indie rock coming out of the time, which is partly why I mostly defaulted from it, and missed just, well, the fun in it. Which this EP at least sparked a bit more, and while I never really went back to standard guitarist(-bassist-)drummer rock music that made up so much of my teens/young adulthood as my lead interest in music it at least slowly wormed itself back into my taste. 

Which is good, there is nothing better than a simple 2 chord song you can scream along to. It also motivated me in some ways to really go see smaller indie shows again later on, which fell very much by the wayside in 2015 where I spent most of my time in venues watching experimental music or metal music. There is honestly no better feeling than seeing bands you like play tiny clubs for 20-30 people that are so much into their music as you. 

Diet Cig is still an ongoing concern. This EP was followed by the solid ,but also slightly too clean cut, Swear I’m Good at This but the band really delivered their best record yet with 2020’s Do You Wonder About Me?. A wonderful slice of (still) power chords, 2 chord synthesizer melodies and bedroom pop music that still doesn’t pass the 30 minutes mark. Since then the band expanded in a 4 person line-up and recently released Diet Cig: Live at Studio Two Three Great, a audio recording of a lockdown stream they did earlier in 2020. Also they covered The Unforgiven for that bizarre Metallica Black Album playlist/cover project for it’s 20th anniversary. Great band, great things overall. 

Little heard records Bresson recommends from 2015 also:

The Coneheads – L​.​P​.​1.: “14 Year Old High School PC​-​Fascist Hype Lords Rip Off Devo for the Sake of Extorting $​$​$ From Helpless Impressionable Midwestern Internet Peoplepunks L​.​P​.”

You like weirdo punk and early Devo? You will dig this for sure. 

Daniel Bachman – River

A beautiful slice of American primitivism guitar playing that plays with the aspects of acoustic drone music

Barcelona – Extremo Nihilismo en Barcelona

10 minutes of pissed off Spanish hardcore punk

Internazionale – What Was Sown Into History

Wonderful ambient minimal synth stuff that is as welcoming as a warm bed

Mike Krol – Turkey

Garage rock meets power pop on this tremendous slice of 20 minutes of loudness and anxiety   

Male Gaze – Gale Maze

Post-punk by the way of noise-rock heavy on the reverb

Ty Segall Band – Live in San Francisco

The insanity that was 2012’s slaughterhouse in a live setting in by far the most favorite of Segall’s many live line-ups I got to witness

Slootvard: I heavily relate to the sentiments of Scene Sick. Also – Fuck your Ivy League Sweater.