“Makes Me Sick Makes Me Smile” is the debut album of the New York-born band led by Sabrina Fuentes, who started the project when she was only thirteen.
The album draws heavily from 90s grunge and punk. The sound of the songs is reminiscent of “Hole”, with yelling and ‘unpolished’ vocals. The vocals pair well with lyrics that speak bluntly about topics like toxic relationships, addiction, and coming of age.
This release shows the band’s progression into a more polished group, with the songs produced by indie legend Paul Q. Kolderie – who worked for bands like Radiohead and Pixies.
A song that sticks out is ‘Self Fulfilling Prophecy’, the 10th track off the album, which starts with melancholy violin strings and then moves into soft guitar chords with bare and honest lyrics that sound almost like they were taken out of the singer’s diary. ‘Said I wanted to be / Someone like me / But here I am now / And I wish I wasn’t lonely” Fuentes sings.
While this album is a good introduction to the band, with songs that appeal to those nostalgic about 90s music, the band’s older releases are more compelling and worth checking out. 4 stars.