When one thinks of the biggest DIY Alternative Rock music scenes in the US, there are a few cities that come to mind(like New York City, Detroit, and Denver). Milwaukee is not one of those cities. Milwaukee does have a DIY Alternative scene that is emerging and growing quickly, though. One of the bands at the forefront of this scene is Diet Lite. I originally discovered Diet Lite on Tik Tok. They have a steadily increasing following on that app, which is such a good way to get more popular as a musician in this day and age. Diet Lite makes music that blends a variety of old-school Rock sounds and makes them sound like they fit in with the rest of the Alternative music being made today. There are elements of Punk and Rock from every decade dating back to the 1960s in their music; I truly believe they have something for any kind of Alternative Rock fan to enjoy. Their new EP, Jon Told Bob Told Rob, shows this off well. With that being said, here is how I feel about Diet Lite’s Jon Told Bob Told Rob. Please let me know in the comments below how you feel about this record, and also comment what your favorite songs from it are.
Diet Lite starts out the EP with ‘Glammin the Hill.’ Compared to the singles that were released before this project came out(the last three songs were all singles), it has a way more modern sound. Instead of having elements of more “classic’ Rock music, this track sounds like it could have come out of the early 2000s. This song reminds me so much of Green Day, particularly from their American Idiot era. Everything about the instrumental, from the melody and riff to the drum beat, sounds like the Punk Rock music from this era. Even the vocals remind me of early 2000s Punk Rock. I enjoy this sound from Diet Lite a lot, and it provides a nice contrast from the sounds they are normally known for. Diet Lite goes into more of a classic Rock direction with their next song, ‘Lenny.’ This track has a Surf Rock feeling to it. The riff makes me think of music from The Ventures or early music from the Beach Boys. The biggest thing that distinguishes ‘Lenny’ from that kind of music is how hard of a song ‘Lenny’ is. This track has elements of gritty Punk Rock; these elements give even more emphasis to the Surf Rock side of the song. The vocals on this song stand out as well. The vocalist has a J. Geils Band sort of delivery on ‘Lenny.’ This style of vocals on this kind of instrumental makes ‘Lenny’ really stand out. ‘Harbour a Hand’ is another song which has a retro Surf-Rock sound. It has a pretty similar melody and tone of the song that precedes it. The biggest thing that stands out about this song is its pacing. ‘Harbour a Hand’ has a beat that switches speeds throughout the song. At times it has a fun and fast-paced beat that makes me want to dance, and at other times it has a slow-burning beat which makes me want to relax. The back and forth changing of the bear provides so much texture and diversity to the instrumental.
‘Madison City Parking Ticket Groove’ is probably my favorite song by Diet Lite from this EP. In fact, it’s probably one of my 30 songs of the year so far. I talked about this song a few weeks ago in a single review, so I will keep this brief(go check out my write-up ok that song for a more detailed description). This track has a sound that mixes early 2000s Garage Rock and 70s Punk music. The vocals, like a lot of their other tracks, have a Surf Rock sound that reminds me of The Kinks or The Beach Boys. The EP closes out with the first single Diet Lite released this year, ‘Stuck Again.’ This one has a sound that mixes old-school Hard Rock and early 2000s Garage and Indie Rock. The riff on this track makes me think of bands like Ted Nugent or Steppenwolf. There are also elements of the melody style and vocals that make me think of The Strokes or The White Stripes. Overall, it is an interesting sound one would not expect to hear in 2022. Something I love about this song is how fuzzy and distorted it sounds. When I hear this one, it gives me so much positive energy and it makes me want to rock out in a mosh pit somewhere. The vocals on this song are a little harsher and tougher than in the other songs from this EP. They remind me more of groups like The Ramones or The Sex Pistols than The Beach Boys. ‘Stuck Again’ is a great way to end the EP, as it shows off another exciting side to this band.
In a city that is mainly known for its intense and heavy Hip Hop, Diet Lite sticks out and shines like a star. They are helping to push and grow an Indie Rock community in Milwaukee, which is creating much-needed diversity in the city’s music scene. Their new EP, Jon Told Bob Told Rob, takes elements from multiple eras of Rock music and combines them into a unique and modern sound. If you are a fan of Alternative Rock from the 60s and 70s or the early 2000s Alt and Indie Rock, this album is for you. They are able to take these kinds of music and fuse them in a way that makes them fresh and unique. Diet Lite’s Jon Told Bob Told Rob is a fun and cool Rock project, and it makes me very excited to see what they do in the future.