By Perdi Higgs
The members of Diamond Rugs are no strangers to the music industry. The band is made up of members of Deer Tick, The Black Lips, Dead Confederate, Los Lobos, and Six Finger Satellite. This impressive line-up leaves Diamond Rugs no option but to master the realms of modern rock and roll with their latest album, “Cosmetics,” a follow up to their 2012 self-titled work. From the words of the band itself, “Cosmetics” does not mark a huge transformation for their sound or style. That said, Diamond Rugs’ sound is critically acclaimed and “Cosmetics” only emphasizes that fact.
The album has a refreshing sense of simplicity to it. Saint Pé described it as what he called “the art of deconstruction,” something that is evident throughout the entirety of “Cosmetics.” This simplicity is a deliberate decision and it gives the album a sense of effortlessness that goes so well with the demeanor of the band.
Diamond Rugs is totally cool in that disheveled, sunglasses-indoors way that is exclusive to the realms of indie rock. John McCauley’s gravelly drawl gives particular moments of “Cosmetics” an almost country style. In particular, tracks like “Clean” and “Motel Room” bring a slight country style to alternative rock, something increasingly popular in the current American music world from exciting new acts like The Growlers. The album itself exudes a cool sensibility.
Some of the tracks have a distinctly 60s rock vibe, with the track “Couldn’t Help It” being reminiscent of The Zombies’ through the use of austere harmonies and guitar riffs. The overall sound of the album is not tied to a specific era. The dating of the album doesn’t seem that important because its carefree sound and style has such an appealing affect on its listeners.
The first single, “Thunk,” is probably the track on the album that has the most production on it. Diamond Rugs utilizes a substantial horn section, giving the song more power behind it, pushing it towards anthem territory.
As an album, “Cosmetics” has a comfortable familiarity throughout. It is is an album that you can imagine being played in a dive bar in the depths of the Lower East Side. Its lyrics are often humorous, with a level of skillful ease that can only be expected from such an accomplished collection of band members.
Perdi Higgs is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.