Following up on 2012’s self-titled debut, indie-rock supergroup Diamond Rugs have come through for a sophomore effort entitled Cosmetics. Despite what may be inferred by the term “supergroup,” the members of Diamond Rug create a cohesive sound that almost sounds natural.
Comprised of T. Hardy Morris of Dead Confederate, Deer Tick frontman John McCauley and keyboardist Robbie Crowell, Bryan Dufresne of Six Finger Satellite, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos and former guitarist of Black Lips Ian St. Pé, Diamond Rugs creates a sound that’s anything but dysfunctional in Cosmetics, despite the varied backgrounds of the musicians involved.
The band possess some of their greatest synergy within the opening track “Voodoo Doll,” having a healthy contrast between Berlin’s saxophone bursts and Crowell’s synth to create a unique sound in and of itself. More on the melodic spectrum, “Ain’t Religion” is a great tune to sway your head to and just get lost within the melody. “Couldn’t Help It” is another strong track on the album worth noting, possessing some great classical components with some modern spins added to it.
In the middle of the album, listeners are taken on a near-two-minute journey in the track “So What,” with Diamond Rugs bringing out the diversity that they possess. The track’s uptempo garage rock makes it hard not to get fully immersed within the music. Listeners go through a similar experience in “Live And Shout It,” with alternating vocals putting that diversity back on the table.
With a three-piece horn section, guitars, bass, synth, organs and multiple vocals involved, it can oftentimes be incredibly easy for musicians to bite off more than they chew in a studio effort. However, Diamond Rugs do a great job of keeping a healthy balance between all of the components to create a sound that’s both modern and classical, without stepping too far into one spectrum. Cosmetics is exactly what the name infers: feel-good music any indie fan can get lost within.