Leigh MichaelThursday,14 March 2013

The Snap:

Acclaimed for creating “carefully constructed drinking songs”, Diamond Rugs is a band that makes you feel like you should be settling back with a beer while you listen to them. This group is actually a collision of different bands: think of it as a tasting menu of a whole host of great sounds and unique talents. John McCauley of Deer Tick (and Middle Brother!), Robbie Crowell (also of Deer Tick), Ian Saint Pe of the Black Lips, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, Hardy Morris of Dead Confederate, and Bryan Dufresne of Six Finger Satellite all bring their own “special something” to Diamond Rugs — and the final result is undeniably awesome.

Diamond Rugs is currently making fans melt at SXSW. If you didn’t snag a ticket and need something to assuage the pain, never fear: you can grab Diamond Rugs, their debut album, on Amazon, or watch these awesome live recordings. It’s almost as good as being in Austin right now (at least that’s what I keep telling myself).

The Download:

Okay, let’s all be honest. “Gimme A Beer” is not to sort of title that makes one think it belongs to a song that is “great music.” And, admittedly, its lyrics aren’t musical rocket science: “I want the kinda credit I just shine it and forget it the tellers they all know my name / I want the kinda car where my stereo is better the damn things not falling apart / I want the kinda hair I can look at and admire not a goofy little ball of flesh”…. and so it goes.)

So, when NPR sagely noted (as they always do) that Diamond Rugs is all about crafting “carefully constructed drinking songs”, I think they hit the nail on the head. This group is like a garage band of different artists who rock. It’s a special day indeed when Los Lobos and Deer Tick become one. It isn’t tidy… but it isn’t messy, either. These guys sort of sound like they want to come off as raw and unkempt. But at the end of the day, they don’t fool anyone. Each of the band members are just too talented to make lazy music.

In an interview, Robbie Crowell revealed that their album was initially going to be called Stoner Drama and feature songs about — you guessed it — “the things that stoner roommates fight about.” They may have ditched the title, but the attitude still stands. It’s a laid-back and rolicking hybrid. If you’re in any doubt of their talent, check out “Blue Mountains,” which they performed live on The Late Show with David Letterman. The lyrics might not be poetry, the sound might feel raw — but Diamond Rugs makes some serious magic together. Case in point: “Christmas In A Chinese Restaurant,” below.

Hat Tips:

Diamond Rugs, Partisan Records, Facebook, Image Credit: Flickr

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  1. […] note: As TSD mentioned a couple of weeks back, John McCauley is also a part of the excellent Diamond Rugs, which you should jam out to if you haven’t […]

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