Release Date: Feb 24, 2015
Record label: Sycamore
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock
Diamond Rugs’ M.O. for its second album was to stay the course. The indie supergroup—comprised of Deer Tick’s John McCauley and Robbie Crowell, The Black Lips’ former guitarist Ian St. Pé, Dead Confederate’s Hardy Morris, Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin and Six Finger Satellite’s Bryan Dufresne—established itself as a snotty rock and roll group that hip indie fans called for a good time in 2012.
Like-minded musicians often naturally gravitate towards one another. This can inevitably lead to the creation of supergroups, a concept that often invokes cringes amongst the music faithful. Sometimes welcomed (Traveling Wilburys, the Postal Service), sometimes dreaded (Chickenfoot, Velvet Revolver), and sometimes chaotic (Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young) these bands certainly almost always end of memorable for one thing or another.
The debut of a loosely assembled supergroup side project has the initial benefit of listener curiosity on its side. When Deer Tick's John McCauley teamed up with highly respected Los Lobos saxophonist/utility man Steve Berlin in 2011 to work on a potential solo album, it definitely seemed like something worth checking out. As the story goes, McCauley rounded up a group of friends from bands like the Black Lips, Dead Confederate, and Six Finger Satellite to back him up, and the good-time rock & roll beerfest that quickly ensued at Nashville's Playground Sound Studio ensured that it would no longer be a side project, but a legitimate band.
Diamond Rugs (aka D. Rugs) may have come together out of a desire to write an album of songs about weed, but the supergroup has managed to evolve, whether they like it or not, into one of the best rock bands out there. Comprising former Black Lips guitarist Ian St. Pé, Deer Tick’s John McCauley and Robbie Crowell, Six Finger Satellite’s Bryan Dufresne, Dead Confederate’s Hardy Morris and Los Lobos’ Steve Berlininto, the band, with Cosmetics, has turned in one of 2015’s best albums, genres be damned.