Diamond Rugs, Diamond Rugs

Austin L. Ray

By Austin L. Ray

on 04.24.12 in Reviews

Diamond Rugs

Diamond Rugs
Deer Tick and friends show the quick-and-dirty spirit of rock ‘n’ roll

It will come as no surprise to anyone that Diamond Rugs’ self-titled debut full-length sounds like a bunch of hardscrabble rock dudes jamming it out, if only because its members hail from Black Lips, Los Lobos, Deer Tick, Dead Confederate and Six Finger Satellite. As the story goes, Deer Tick’s John McCauley assembled the crew over the course of the past few years, and when they all convened in Nashville, they recorded 14 tracks in 10 days — most of them in a take or two. Chalk it up to chemistry, or perhaps the quick-and-dirty spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, but Diamond Rugs is a damn good time, the kind of album that’s not above silly song titles like “Gimme a Beer,” “Call Girl Blues” and “Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant,” but also pulls them off with plucky, unwashed aplomb. But it’s hardly one dimensional: “Big God” is snarky indie rock, “Hungover and Horny” sounds like a sexed-up Todd Snider jam, and “Totally Lonely” plays the part of the oddball middle kid. Horns show up here and there, as if they were pulled out of a bedroom on a whim at a party that long ago passed its sell-by date. Most of the songs rollick, or at least swagger, but when they don’t, it’s all dirt-road indifference and sunglassed cool. Diamond Rugs is like a drunken smile and handshake in the middle of the night, welcome and welcoming.