Words by Dennis Ruhlin

John McCauley and the super crew are back for another beaut with Cosmetics. Diamond Rugs still channel the scumbag basement party vibe, complete with a horn section that would get Springsteen pissed, but they didn’t quite strike gold again. Though I really shouldn’t complain – it’s not often we get two albums out of one super-group.

In all honesty, this is the Deer Tick album I was hoping for, meaning there’s a great deal of that grim country rock vibe we get from McCauley and his band. And that’s great, but we don’t get too much of the other members’ influences here.

I think that’s part of the problem with the album. You’ve got guys from Deer Tick, Los Lobos, The Black Lips, Six Finger Satellites, and Dead Confederate. This album should kick ass like its predecessor did! Instead, it’s just good. That’s my biggest complaint, and it’s a shit complaint at that.

“Couldn’t Help It” is a sad, Southern love song you’d listen to at the bar as you’re pounding down your eighth Bud heavy. “Live and Shout It” is a fun, rambling, danceable, twangy song you can imagine a crowded venue going nuts to. Other standouts include “Ain’t Religion”, the blue collar “Killing Time”, the Dire Straits knockoff “Blame”, and “Motel Room”.

For some, this is gonna blow their self-titled debut out of the water. For others, it’s gonna just be good. Either way, give it a whirl and you won’t be disappointed.

Diamond Rugs
© February 24th, 2015



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