Everyone always says they’re busy, but Milwaukee garage-rock outfit Diet Lite has been really busy. Since releasing the delightful Seems To Be The Way It Tends To Go in 2021, the group has played more than 100 shows, gotten its gear stolen, made a video/short film about getting its gear stolen (“This God Damn City”), and released two EPs. Those EPs—plus 10 more songs!—make up Diet Lite’s latest record, the sprawling Into To Pudding.

Things start strong with an anticipation-building instrumental intro, followed by the breezy and jangly lead single “Debora.” Highlighted by Dylan-esque organ flourishes and mile-a-minute lyrical runs (“Slipping a dozen truths into that one big lie / Sure don’t make no difference when we’re riding on your time,”) the song perfectly shows off Diet Lite’s newly fleshed-out sound. “Tom Tom Club” is a beefy slab of punk rock, “Flying Cars & New Fronts” is a jittery jam filled with spacey interludes and herky-jerky riffs, and both “An Iron + The Sun” and “K.O.” wouldn’t feel out of place on an indie-leaning “drinkin’ with the boys” playlist (well, the first half of the latter song, anyway). “Lenny,” meanwhile, finds Diet Lite at its most swaggering and glam-inspired. All told, the band has never sounded better.

Pudding also finds time for ragged rock workouts more in the mold of the less-polished (but still winning) Seems To Be The Way. The head-bopping and surf-y “Madison City Parking Ticket Groove” is an undeniable album highlight, while “Bad Larry” is a mosh-pit monster that builds to an improbably apocalyptic climax. In true Diet Lite fashion, the video for “Bad Larry” is a hilarious and over-the-top treat.

As for the record’s pudding-tastic title, the band (Evan Marsalli, Kelson Kuzdas, Max Niemann) explains:

Into The Pudding‘s title comes from a phrase singer/guitarist Max Niemann picked up from Beat-Hippie writer Ken Kesey. “He’d say, ‘Yeah, that guy gets it, he’s into the pudding,’ as this way of saying someone’s in the know or hip to something he dug, but maybe not everyone else was aware of,” Niemann explains. “As a band in a city that maybe isn’t always viewed as a major cultural hub by the outside world, it feels like us and all the bands and artists we know have become this too-well-kept-secret ready to burst out into the public eye. We’re hoping this album helps get a few more people ‘into the pudding’ of what’s happening creatively here in Milwaukee and across the Midwest.”

Diet Lite recently performed Into The Pudding in its entirety at a sold-out show at The Back Room @ Colectivo. The set was capped with a cover of Violent Femmes’ “Add It Up.” It was only fitting: with two records and hundreds of shows under its belt (and plenty more shows to come), Diet Lite is well on its way to achieving local legend status. Stay busy!

Exclusive articles, podcasts, and more. Support Milwaukee Record on Patreon.


Diet Lite hunts down stolen gear (with hilarious results) in short film, ‘This God Damn City’

Diet Lite’s new album is very good, doctor-certified COVID-free

About The Author

Avatar photo
Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.