BY JOHN B. MOORE
Diamond Rugs (aka D. Rugs) may have come together out of a desire to write an album of songs about weed, but the supergroup has managed to evolve, whether they like it or not, into one of the best rock bands out there.
Comprising former Black Lips guitarist Ian St. Pé, Deer Tick’s John McCauley and Robbie Crowell, Six Finger Satellite’s Bryan Dufresne, Dead Confederate’s Hardy Morris and Los Lobos’ Steve Berlininto, the band, with Cosmetics, has turned in one of 2015’s best albums, genres be damned. Their self-titled debut was a good record, the follow up is a great one.
It’s pretty obvious from the opening track on that these guys were just having fun, screwing around and in the process just happened to come up with a nearly a dozen songs that most bands would kill for. This is not a band that is talking to each other through managers and lawyers and putting out records to pay the mortgage. This is a collective that added a glockenspiel to the songs and used a trash bag (yes, a trash bag) as an instrument and still sounded like each decision was a crucial ingredient to the end result. It should also be added that Diamond Rugs may be one of only a handful of bands recording today outside of Springsteen’s crew that can add sax to a song and not sound like they’re trying to be ironic in any way.
What also make Cosmetics so strong is that the members are not above looking to some of pop and country’s best, beyond the obvious, for inspiration; “Couldn’t Help It” sounds like Buddy Holly sitting in on vocals and rhythm guitar; “Blame” could have come off a Waylon Jennings record and “Meant to Be” is mud-caked Southern Rock, as played by a funk band.
Most supergroups burn out after one or two records. Let’s hope that’s not the case with Diamond Rugs.
DOWNLOAD: “Thunk,” “Couldn’t Help It” and “Live and Shout It”