The realm of indie music has become over-saturated with too many “me-too” bands aping off of one another’s sounds. This notion of independent music is lost underneath layers upon layers of overproduction, shiny bright lights, and a drive to not be “independent,” per se, but “dependent” on countless factors. As the Chicago music scene has come to be defined by the rising stars of its hip hop scene, many talented bands have made strides in the shadows of their rap brethren… perhaps embracing this veil of anonymity, never wanting to emerge into a spotlight that is, at times, all too unforgiving. Lost in the sea of Twitter-verified clone bands are the true purveyors of independent music; far away from the multi-layered recording studios are the real bands grinding and doing things their own way, both figuratively and literally.
The New Diet is one such band. Over recent years, the Chicago-based band has been steadily building a fan base with their penchant for lo-fi, DIY aesthetic. With their latest album, the aptly-titled Basement Minded Thoughts, the foursome delivers their first full-length album following a handful of EP releases over the past three years. Recorded live in an Urbana basement during the summer, Basement Minded Thoughts eschews the glamor of an expensive studio for a gritty, real sound that echoes the years spent performing in basements and lofts across the Chicagoland area. The album harkens back to the ’90s with its mix of hazy indie/alternative and Midwestern emo sounds. Crooner/guitarist Anthony Focareto’s shaky screeches sometimes get lost in the fog of guitar and bass, played by Adrian Serrano and Dillon Kelley, respectively, while drummer Jorge Galvan’s hyperactive drumming keeps each song focused… despite a broken leg sustained before recording.
Basement Minded Thoughts extends past the album’s sound, as the album has been released by Already Dead Tapes, a DIY record label that specializes in cassette and vinyl releases. Basement Minded Thoughts is available now on limited edition cassettes for only $5.00 (the purchase also comes with an MP3 download code). If you’re the type that also appreciates a band’s live aesthetic as much as their recordings, The New Diet’s next show will be at Quenchers Saloon in Chicago on February 16th. Details for that show can be found here.