By Diamond Rugs
For their eponymous début Diamond Rugs, six different guys from five different bands come together to make one hell of a record. Born from a solo effort by John McCauley designed to kill time between projects, he soon found himself having such fun with friends he recruited to augment him that a brand new outfit came together naturally.
The result is an album that is more cohesive than the sum of its parts, which include fellow Deer Tick member Robbie Crowell, Hardy Morris from Dead Confederate and Los Lobos's Steve Berlin. The set is bookended with two fine cuts - Opener and single 'Hightail' is two and a half minutes of Nashville glam blues, while the sublime 'Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant' is a piano led lament of a drunken Yuletide and surprisingly soft end to the record. In between, the tone ranges from rock to punk to country to indie - shadows of The Magnetic Fields can be heard on 'Totally Lonely' - but never strays from the bar room looseness of The Replacements or the spirit of fun in which it was conceived.
Given that the band is completed by Black Lips's Ian Saint Pé and Bryan Dufresne from Six Finger Satellite, the 'super group' tag is intevitable but unnecessary. Diamond Rugs are an entity in their own right, and have created an album that deserves to be not just heard but listened to. On 'Take Note', the listener is asked a pressing question: What are you supposed to do when you love everything? Maybe the answer is go and make a record like this one.
Diamond Rugs is out March 25 through Partisan Records