Earl Boykins, Diet Cig, Treasure | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Earl Boykins, Diet Cig, Treasure 

When: Thu., March 26, 9 p.m. 2015
Price: $5
Guitarist and front woman Alex Luciano wrote the five songs on Diet Cig’s debut, Over Easy (Father/Daughter), in her bedroom, and they sound that way—at least for the first 20 seconds or so. These catchy, charming, fat-free tunes (the EP runs a hair more than ten minutes) start out just shy of what I’d call “twee,” but then she kicks in the afterburners on her clear, unadorned voice, sometimes for just a line or three, knifing like a sudden stab of longing or recrimination through the strummy guitars and frisky, straightforward drumming. (I’ve never been to New Paltz, New York, where the band is from, but maybe apartment bedrooms there have much thicker walls.) Even if cute, carefully noisy indie-pop isn’t your cup of peppermint tea—and certain bands in the genre sound like they’d have a hard time fighting through a stage curtain to start their set—you have to admit that it sinks much deeper into your brain when it’s not delivered by a wallflower. “I’m sick of hearing about your band / I don’t wanna hear about who you think I am,” Luciano sings in “Scenesick.” And in “Harvard” she vents at an ex with a new Ivy League girlfriend: “Made your parents proud,” she sneers with gusto. And then, at window-shivering volume: “I bet she’s not as loud!” Well, if this record is anything to judge by, it’s his loss. —Philip Montoro

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