Sunday, June 24, 2012

Diamond Rugs & Show # 409

The Diamond Rugs are made up of John McCauley (guitar/vocals), Ian Saint Pe (guitar/vocals), Hardy Morris (guitar/vocals), Bryan Dufresne (drums), Rob Crowell (bass/sax/keys) and Steve Berlin on horns/keys, they released their first self titled album on April 24th, 2012. Some of you may recognize the names listed above, John McCauley and Rob Crowell both play in the band Deer Tick, Ian Saint Pe is from Black Lips, Hardy Morris is from Dead Confederate, Bryan Dufresne plays in Six Finger Satellite and Steve Berlin plays in Los Lobos, this group of musicians were assembled in what originally started out as a solo project for John McCauley, but it quickly turned into something else that we can now call Diamond Rugs. The band combines elements of the Country Rock flavour we know from Deer Tick, but also a mixes in a drunken swagger of Garage, Punk, Blues and Folk.

The album starts of with the Jangly Garage Blues of “Hightail” a song sung by Ian Saint Pe. The song is sung with a country drawl, while lyrically it addresses a girl fleeing town. “Gimme A Beer” follows this track, being perhaps one the best tracks found here, the song loosely warbles along like a drunken walk home in the dark. Sung by McCauley, the song is the perfect blend of Country and Garage Rock, while horn sections jump in and out adding a Soulful element, lead guitar lines bleed in as the song combines the drunken swagger of The Black Lips and Deer Tick. Like many of the songs on this album they don’t require definition, they are just good songs by a good group of musicians, the song addresses a lot of things such as wanting a dog that pisses on your neighbours fence, but in the end its all thrown out of logic with the lines gimme a beer which come into fruition in the choruses.

“Big God” comes up next, a heavy track with guitar tones that sound like they could be from 70’s Punk album, the drums and bass drive the song with its drunken rhythm as the chorus pulses with its melodic and bittersweet lyrics “It hurts to watch what you love so much” sung by McCauley. “Out On My Own” is a powerful Soulful number that builds with 60s Garage and Country melodies with smooth guitar fills and dominant organ. “Country Mile” is placed in the middle of this album a song written and sung by Hardy Morris, the song is a strange blend of super heavy Psychedelic fuzzy riffs and strong melodic Country tinged choruses that sound straight of a Hank Williams album. Apparently added at the end of the recording sessions this song is a definitive song on this album as it combines styles so uniquely and effortlessly, it’s captivating.

Other highlights include the song “Totally Lonely” a very slow, yet low key track. The song sounds like an old phonograph record in the distance, it is a deliberately placed track on the album, one that adds to its dimensionality, being and the more retro melodic end of things. “Blue Mountains” is a laid back Garage/Country song sung by Ian Saint Pe, “Tell Me Why” is an upbeat song that combines heavier elements from Deer Tick’s Divine Providence and mixes in Soulful horns. The album ends with the dysfunctional Christmas ballad “Christmas In A Chinese Restaurant”, a song that first appeared in November of 2011.

Recorded in just about ten days, the album does not need the label that most critics tag onto this group, that of an Indie Rock super group or as some are calling them a Punk Drunk super group, the music stands out on its own. Critics have tried to look closely into the lyrics which are often label as dealing with sexual frustrations, but none of that really matters, the album isn’t meant to be taken seriously. The lyrics to “Gimme A Beer” best illustrate this, while there are many topics and elements of this album that could be dissected and analyzed it is not necessary, who cares gimme a beer, Diamond Rugs is just a good album that can be played over and over.

This Week's Play List:

1. Danny Ray - Revolution Rock
2. Scotty – Draw Your Brakes
3. Specials – Too Much Too Young
4. The Damn Choir – Virginia
5. Leland Sundries – Roller Derby Queen
6. White Fence – Long White Curtain
7. Light Bulb Alley – Eye In The Sky
8. Heavy Cream – ‘79
9. Carbonas – Journey To The End
10. Flesh Columns – Time’s Up
11. Active Dog - Rat Race
12. Red Squares – Ottawa Today
13. The Teardrops – Leave Me No Choice
14. This Machine Kills Robots – Salty Wave
15. The Bell Peppers – Tourettes
16. Stoves – Rollercoaster (Live)
17. Deja Voodoo – Stuff And Things
18. The Specials - Ghost Town (Extended Version)
19. 13th Floor Elevators – Thru The Rhythm
20. Neon Boys – (That’s All I Know) Right Now
21. Cold Warps - Let's Just Have Fun
22. Guided By Voices – Class Clown Spots A UFO
23. Diamond Rugs - Out On My Own
24. Diamond Rugs - Big God
25. Diamond Rugs – Gimme A Beer

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for June 19. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

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